Invest In Higher Education
March 22, 2011
By Linda Gomez
The Executive Budget, if enacted, would cut SUNY by an additional $100 million and cut CUNY by an additional $95.1 million. It would also cut another $61.8 million from community colleges, the equivalent of $226 per full time student over the academic year.
After three years of painful funding reductions, classrooms at many CUNY and SUNY campuses are overcrowded, students are struggling to get the courses they need to graduate, and facilities are falling further into disrepair.
Low and middle income CUNY and SUNY students would also be hurt by the Governor’s plan to continue rule changes to the Tuition Assistance Program (TAP) that were implemented this year despite broad legislative opposition. Those changes have reduced or eliminated state aid for graduate students, dependents of retired workers, certain independent students without dependents, and students who are struggling with federal student loans or grade
All these proposed cuts would come while the state’s public colleges and universities are still reeling from three years worth of deep cuts that have already undermined quality, access and affordability. Hiring freezes and other cuts have led to longer lines, bigger classes and reduced course offerings, all at a time when enrollments are skyrocketing.
“Budgets are about choices, and in this state, with the highest income inequality in the country, the budget should not put the interests of the corporations and the wealthy ahead of the needs of ordinary New Yorkers like the students at CUNY,” said Dr. Barbara Bowen, President of the Professional Staff Congress/CUNY.
"Investment in SUNY, CUNY and their community colleges is essential to growing New York's future," said NYSUT Executive Vice President Andy Pallotta. "We need full restoration of higher ed funding to guarantee student access and to preserve quality at our public higher education institutions. That is key to our students' futures and revitalization of our state's economy. To produce the dividend of an educated workforce needed to sustain economic growth, we must invest in higher education,” said Andrew Pallotta, Executive Vice President of NYSUT.