June 26, 2014/Press Releases

Republican Charlie Baker Needs an Education About His Education “Proposal” History

For Immediate Release
June 26, 2014

Contact: Travis Shofner
Phone: 617.939.0800



As State’s Chief Financial Officer, He Proposed Massive Education Cuts and
Blocked Technology Improvements

BOSTON – It turns out, Republican Charlie Baker might need an education about his own education proposal history.

Republican Baker has been talking about higher education this week, trying to fool voters that he has a real plan to boost higher education while the Governor and Legislature are poised to freeze college costs for UMass for the second year in a row and fund higher education at the highest levels in history. That’s a big difference from when Republican Baker was in charge of the Big Dig financing scheme and the state budget.

State Senator Ben Downing, Co-Chair of the Massachusetts Democratic Party’s Coordinated Campaign, today released the following statement in response to Republican Charlie Baker’s higher education proposal:

“Once again, Republican Charlie Baker thinks he can fool voters by ignoring his failed proposals that would have devastated the education of our children. The so-called education plan Republican Baker released this week disguises the fact that while he was Secretary of Administration and Finance, he proposed slashing tens of millions of dollars of higher education funding and purposefully blocked plans to computerize classrooms.

“While Republican Charlie Baker is trying to play catch up by releasing a plan that is in stark contrast to his actions in Republican administrations, under the leadership of Governor Patrick and the Democratic Legislature, parents and students going to UMass will be getting a freeze on tuition and fees for the second year in a row. That’s leadership to start keeping college costs down and it is already happening in Massachusetts,” Downing said. “Massachusetts is also No. 1 in the nation in education because of Democratic leadership. Instead of proposing tax breaks and paying for them by cutting funding of our children and schools, Baker should focus on solving real issues – like reducing student loan debt and improving our education infrastructure.”

Additionally, Republican Charlie Baker’s proposal closely resembles the findings of the Massachusetts Legislature’s Subcommittee on Student Loans and Debt, co-chaired by Democrats Sen. Eileen Donoghue and Rep. Paul Mark. The findings of the subcommittee can be read here.

Republican Charlie Baker’s Record on Education:

  • As the Secretary for Administration & Finance, Republican Charlie Baker proposed $25 million in cuts to higher education for the FY 1996 Budget.
  • In FY 1997, Republican Baker again proposed cuts to higher education, this time a $30 million cut despite state spending increases projected up to 2.5%.
  • Continuing his war on education spending, Republican Baker co-wrote a government reorganization plan that would force the state to cut $100 million from education, including $52 million in higher education.
  • In 1996, media reported that Baker’s office refused to sign off on school district applications for state aid for a program to computerize classrooms for Internet access, even forcing every school system to reapply for the funding. Baker pronounced himself unconvinced of the teaching values of computers.

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