City Budget Devastates CUNY Community Colleges
February 21, 2011
By Neal Tepel
The Mayor’s planned cuts to community colleges would unjustly target low- and moderate-income, immigrant and minority students at a time when City tax revenue is on the rise, according to the Professional Staff Congress (PSC/CUNY), the union that represents faculty and professional staff at the City University of New York (CUNY).
“Mayor Bloomberg’s decision to cut CUNY is a decision to block students’ movement out of poverty. People come to CUNY because they want to change their lives—materially, economically, intellectually; our community colleges help them overcome the huge—and growing—inequalities that exist in our city. It’s unconscionable that Mayor Bloomberg would aim cuts at the most vulnerable New Yorkers when Wall Street banks are making record profits and City revenues are growing. ” said Barbara Bowen, president of the PSC.
Forty-six percent of CUNY’s community college students come from households with annual incomes of $20,000 or less. Eighty-one percent are students of color, and 16 percent are supporting children while they attend classes.
The Mayor’s budget reduces funding for CUNY community college by approximately $35 million, compared to last year’s allocation (2010-2011). While the State provides most of the funding for CUNY’s senior colleges, New York City supplies 36 percent of the funding that supports CUNY’s six community colleges.
If the Governor’s proposed $17.5 million cut to CUNY community colleges is enacted, state-allocated base aid for community college would be reduced by almost 25 percent.