Senator Martin Votes for State System Reform for Sustainability and Student Affordability

 (HARRISBURG) – In order to maintain the affordability and quality of higher education in the Commonwealth, State Senator Scott Martin (R-13) today joined the entire Pennsylvania State System of Higher Education Board of Governors in voting to integrate six of the fourteen state system campuses.

“This plan allows PASSHE to focus on its original mission – to provide access to a high quality, affordable education for the people of the Commonwealth. Tough decisions had to be made to protect the integrity of these valuable educational opportunities in Pennsylvania.

“These universities, along with the entire state system, were on an unsustainable path. As part of this plan, it was important that a higher education presence would be maintained in each of our communities. Today marks the beginning of moving forward together beginning with a look at sustainability plans and shared services.

“We have heard concerns about how this is going to impact our communities. This is our chance to ensure that these institutions will have a presence throughout the Commonwealth and offer ongoing opportunities for our students. With the estimated cost to the Commonwealth being $50 million a year, doing nothing or delaying a decision would have continued the march toward impossible financial situations for the rest of the universities and ultimately the Commonwealth.  A lack of action today with these six institutions would have created more uncertainty and would continue to negatively impact affordability, enrollment numbers and the rest of the universities, financially.

“These are the kinds of changes that are needed to ensure that state system is moving forward and meeting its mission statement. These changes will give a further boost to the quality of the education while enhancing their affordability.  This important endeavor will continue as we look to compete for more students and meet the needs of our economy and communities.”

Senator Martin joined with Senator Tomlinson in authoring this critical reform amendment that became Act 50 of 2020, which empowered the Board of Governors of the State System of Higher Education to make necessary reforms and changes.

Contact: Terry Trego

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