CUNY receives modest restorations in the City budget
On Wednesday, June 29 the City Council passed a budget that fell short of restoring necessary funding for CUNY community colleges and student aid. Thanks to PSC’s advocacy, the Council added $25.25 million to the Mayor’s proposed allocation for CUNY community college operating support. That amount, however, barely exceeds the restoration that state law obligates the city to provide. While this is an increase over the Mayor’s proposed budget, it does little to defray the cost of growing enrollments, new community college expenses and other inflationary costs. Funding for Vallone Scholarships, the City’s merit-based financial aid program, was also eliminated.
Read PSC President Barbara Bowen’s statement
Executive Budget Media Statement | Fact Sheet | Act Now Letter | PSC’s Testimony | CUNY at the Council Lobby Day | May 5 Budget-Contract Rally | On May 12 Rally in NYC | Bloombergville | Statement on Final Budget
PSC is urging the City Council to reject Mayor Bloomberg’s proposed cuts and increase City operating support for CUNY’s community colleges. We are also asking the City Council to maintain their support for initiatives that fund programs serving students at both senior and community colleges.
PSC’s City Budget Platform
Restore and Enhance Community College Operating Support: $52.6 million
The Mayor’s Executive Budget and additional reductions propose $26.7 million fewer dollars for community colleges compared to the FY2011 adopted budget. In addition to this direct funding decrease, are $25.9 million in unfunded mandatory expense increases for the colleges that arise from inflation, enrollment growth and programmatic expansion. For example, the Mayor’s budget authorizes funding for the New Community College Initiative, but cuts overall funding for the community colleges’ base budget.
Continue to Fund Programs Supported by the City Council: $19.6 million
Council-funded programs such as the Vallone Scholarships, Safety Net financial aid, Black Male Initiative, Murphy Institute for Worker Education, Center for Puerto Rican Studies, the Dominican Studies Institutes and Creative Arts Team provide a gateway to opportunity and a better future. The Mayor would zero out funding for these programs. PSC proposes restoring to 2009 levels.
Make Up for the Lost State Aid to Community Colleges: $12.3 million
After three years of state funding cuts, CUNY students already face larger classes, a shortage of full-time faculty, fewer available courses and higher tuition. The enacted state budget includes another $12.3 million cut to base aid for CUNY community colleges. Without restoration of these critical funds, CUNY students will see the quality of their education further degraded.
Capital Budget Enhancement and Critical Maintenance Needs
After years of enrollment growth and deferred maintenance, CUNY community college facilities need sustained capital investment to address serious conditions: deteriorating facades at LaGuardia and Hostos Community Colleges, green water flowing from the fountains at Bronx Community College, and an inadequate sprinkler/standpipe system at Queensborough Community College are only a few examples. Capital funds must be budgeted for CUNY.