Mayor de Blasio’s Preliminary Executive Budget proposal for CUNY continues his commitment to increase funding for community college STEM programs and expanding ASAP with $18.6 million committed last year. It also includes a modest increase of $2.7 million for Associate degree programs in the comprehensive colleges. But CUNY needs greater investment if it is to provide the enhanced educational services and supports students need to graduate.
PSC President Barbara Bowen, Treasurer Sharon Persinger and Kingsborough Community College adjunct Meg Feeley testified about needed City investments at a New York City Council budget hearing on March 6.
They testified in support of CUNY’s request for an additional $34 million to “invest in student success and on-time graduation” and urged the Council to advocate for an additional $87.7 million for CUNY:
- $48.7 million to cover mandatory cost increases including future collective bargaining. Collective bargaining is a normal cost of operation, and should be funded fully.
- $29 million in additional funding to fully support the CUNY comprehensive colleges, which provide Associates degree programs. City funding has remained completely flat at $32 million for over 20 years.
- $10 million to cover TAP credit waivers for Associates degree students attending the comprehensive college and who receive TAP financial aid.
In addition to the critical operating budget increases for CUNY, the PSC panel testified about why an increase in adjunct pay to $7,000 per course is essential for CUNY success. They urged the Council to increase funding to support students’ other needs, including the proposal to fund MetroCards and childcare service, and, finally, called for full support of CUNY’s capital budget request.
Video of the hearing is posted here on the City Council website. The PSC panel begins their testimony at the 1:58 time stamp.