Tell your representatives you’d like the state to ensure accessible public higher education. Be clear you expect system leadership to think beyond closures and consolidations. Contact your State Representatives, and share your thinking, in your own words. Feel free to draw from the examples below as well. Remember, your reps will want to know you live in their districts.
Dear Representative / Senator:
I’m writing as a voter and taxpayer in your district. I live at….
I’m extremely concerned about the PA State System of Higher Education (PASSHE) redesign underway. I want to see solutions that work for working and middle class families. And I want to know there’s a clear process for public comment. While our state hosts many tax-exempt, elite, private universities like Penn and Carnegie Mellon, we are also 47th in the country for spending on public higher education. Since 2000, state spending on public higher ed has been continuously decreasing.
I’m all for improving efficiencies, but let’s be honest and transparent about the whole process that is currently underway. Chancellor Greenstein owes state citizens the opportunity for meaningful feedback once a plan is announced – and the planning must consider a range of possible options, including better state fiscal management and investment in public higher ed. So far, it looks like the Chancellor has begun implementing plans and isn’t considering any options other than his current conclusion.
Please play the legislative role of overseeing this public employee, and ensure access to quality public higher education for working class and middle class families across the state. I don’t think it’s too much to ask for us to invest in a system where Governor Wolf or Chancellor Greenstein would be proud to send their children. I understand we want to be efficient with our dollars, but reliable, independent studies indicate that for every $1 spent on public higher ed in PA, more than ten dollars are generated. And PA Public Institutions are often economic engines in the communities where they’re located. This is money well spent – a smart investment.
Thank you for your consideration. I look forward to your reply.