Welcome to the home to United Teachers of Lowell's Straight Talk podcast. Each Wednesday we'll post a new interview with useful news and information for our members. We hope you'll come back each week to learn what's new! 

Episode 36: The CHERISH Act: Important Higher Education Funding with Jack Bove

Episode 36: The CHERISH Act: Important Higher Education Funding with Jack Bove

In this Episode of Straight Talk, we are learning about the impact Massachusett’s underfunding of state public colleges and universities is having. University of Massachusetts Lowell junior and Public Higher Education Network of Massachusetts (PHENOM) member Jack Bove talks about the importance of the CHERISH act to students and their families. Jack also spoke at our Lowell Education Justice Alliance Legislative Forum in March about the urgent need to reverse this trend and he is articulate about why the pathway to a college degree through Massachusetts’ public university system should become more financially attainable. 

As you heard in our last podcast, it isn’t ONLY K-12 education experiencing hardships resulting for lack of the Commonwealth’s funding support. Higher Education is as well. The combination of ever-increasing tuition and fees combined with decreased State funding means that public higher education students and their families are subjected to stunning expenses for higher education while attending Massachusetts public colleges and universities. This is truly a cause for concerns among higher education students and their families, but it should also concern everyone in Massachusetts, a state that prides itself on access to education. Take a look at this report on the topic of Higher Education Funding in Massachusetts from Massachusetts Budget and Policy Center.

Jack explains what has happened to Massachusetts public education funding support from the Commonwealth and how the ever-increasing tuitions and fees place a financial burden on students and families throughout their higher education career and beyond. Jack also explains how the CHERISH ACT restores the Commonwealth’s commitment to higher education, and he tells us about the debt-free higher education bill introduced.


Learn more about PHENOM, or Public Higher Education Network of Massachusetts by visiting their website, The UMASS Lowell Chapter of Phenom’s contact information is found here. You are encouraged to reach out to PHENOM and get involved in their efforts to adequately fund Higher Education here in Massachusetts.

Click on these links for Cherish Act bills filed in the Massachusetts State Senate (Bill S.741) and the Massachusetts House of Representatives (H.1214).

A comparison of the Cherish Act bills vs. Governor Baker’s proposal is found here. Read more about the Cherish Act on this website or on’s website here. You can learn more about Debt-Free Future here.

Visit here for information about the CHERISH ACT/Debt-Free Future Advocacy Day (March 21) and future events.

To find your Massachusetts Legislators, visit Find My Legislator. Be sure to mention your support of S.741 and H.1214 when you contact them.

Thanks to Jack Bove for taking time to speak with us today about this important and critical piece of Legislation, the Cherish Act. Be sure to contact your state Senator and Representative and let him or her know your thoughts on support for Massachusetts Higher Education. If you are a college student (or soon-to-be college student), consider reaching out to the PHENOM Chapter on your university of college campus and get involved in this issue.

We also thank you, our listeners and especially to UTL members for tuning in to this Episode. We welcome your general comments and feedback. If you have suggestions for future podcasts or if you are aware of a UTL member who might be willing to share expertise and experiences, please email us at

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Episode 37: Paraprofessional Appreciation

Episode 37: Paraprofessional Appreciation

Episode 35: Funding Our Future, Voices from Lowell's Legislative Forum

Episode 35: Funding Our Future, Voices from Lowell's Legislative Forum