Massachusetts Senate President Karen Spilka kicked off the legislative session last weekend by proposing free community college for residents.
According to WPRI, she made the case that expanding access to higher education would help Massachusetts improve its workforce and close the racial wealth gap. Community college students frequently have to choose between attending classes and feeding their families since they are working parents, recent immigrants, and come from low-income backgrounds, Spilka argued.
For instance, a full-time in-state student at Bristol Community College who lived off-campus without financial help would pay around $4,500 annually for tuition, books, and supplies.
Spilka stated that she wants the Senate to find a way to increase funding for public higher education throughout the commonwealth during this legislative session, including by making a two-year program cost-free.
“A significant commitment to public higher education will ensure that every resident, regardless of zip code, will have access to the spark of opportunity to create a hopeful future,” the Ashland Democrat said.
A representative for Spilka stated that although no legislation has yet been filed, she looks forward to working with her colleagues to have something drafted this season.