Eileen Boris, Marisa Chappell, Adom Getachew, Lisa Levenstein, Jennifer Mittelstadt, Premilla Nadasen, Annelise Orleck started this petition on Change.org to Elected Officials
Dear Elected Official:
Higher education--especially public institutions and all but the wealthiest private colleges --faces an unprecedented crisis that will have catastrophic consequences for the nation. The economic cataclysm caused by the COVID 19 pandemic is devastating state budgets, and universities are losing additional billions as they refund housing and fees. Higher education leaders have announced drastic budget cuts, furloughs, lay-offs, and even permanent campus closures.
The stop-gap emergency relief funds universities received through the CARES legislation were woefully insufficient. Our public institutions are suffering the greatest damage. They are already facing unprecedented losses of tens of billions of dollars, but received only $14 billion, or .7% of the April 20 CARES Act funding. The COVID crisis is compounding the threats already facing public higher education for decades. Over forty years of funding cuts by state legislatures and institutional reorganization had already raised tuition by 260 percent and reduced tenure track faculty positions by 50 percent. A generation of students has been saddled with $1.6 trillion in unpayable debt, educators and researchers have faced insecure and poorly paid work, and support staff have been reduced.