PSC delegation meeting with Ydanis Rodriquez (at head of table).
A PSC petition against Mayor Bloomberg’s planned midyear cut in City funding for CUNY community colleges was delivered to the City Council on Nov. 22. Signed by 3,000 faculty, staff and students, the petition was accepted by Ydanis Rodriguez, chair of the Council’s Higher Education Committee. Rodriguez said he would argue for CUNY as a priority in discussions with Speaker Christine Quinn and other Council members.
“Our classrooms are already overcrowded,” said Geoff Kurtz, an assistant professor at BMCC who helped deliver the petitions. “The budget cuts the mayor is proposing could lead to more than a 20% increase in class sizes by next year at BMCC.” The mayor’s plan would reduce City support for CUNY community college operations by 5.4%, or $13 million this year and $16.5 million next year.
The CUNY reductions were among a range of cuts to public services that Bloomberg announced Nov. 18, in a plan that was immediately criticized by City Council leaders. “CUNY, libraries, after-school programs, those are services that our middle class utilizes every day,” Quinn said to Gotham Gazette. She vowed that the Council would have a voice in decisions on the midyear reductions, even if Bloomberg structures the package of cuts to avoid a Council vote.
If you haven’t already signed the PSC petition, it’s not too late to add your name. You can sign online here.