New York State Capitol
New York State Budget Campaign FY2012
In January, Governor Cuomo put forward an Executive Budget proposal that proposed to slash funding for CUNY’s already-underfunded senior and community colleges, increase tuition and make permanent reductions in need-based financial aid.
The PSC pressed hard to restore the Governor’s proposed cuts. Our members are mounted an intense program of public education, organizing and direct advocacy to expose the danger of the state’s continued disinvestment in CUNY and press for better budget alternatives.
Tuition Hikes, Maintenance of Effort for CUNY
In the waning hours of the state legislative session, the legislature authorized CUNY and SUNY to increase senior college tuition by up to $300 per year for the next five years. (The CUNY Trustees recently approved a senior college tuition hike of $230 for 2011-2012. This new hike comes on top of that.) Embedded in the tuition hike authorization bill was language that would require the state to maintain funding for CUNY’s operating support, including fringe benefits, at a level that meets or exceeds CUNY’s allocation in the prior state fiscal year unless the governor declares a state of “fiscal emergency.” Tuition “credits” that would offset the annual hikes for some low-income students were also established.
“We commend the legislative leaders and the governor for recognizing the need to stabilize funding for CUNY and SUNY, but we object to the annual tuition increases on which the deal is built,” said PSC President Barbara Bowen when the framework of the tuition deal was made public. “CUNY needs long-term public investment. Instead of turning low- and middle-income students into cash machines, New York should continue the millionaires’ tax so the state can fund CUNY without threatening students’ opportunity for a better life.”
Albany Budget Favors the Rich, Slams the Rest
Among many other attacks on ordinary New Yorkers, the final budget included $95.1 million in cuts to CUNY senior colleges and $12.3 million in cuts to base aid to CUNY community colleges. The legislature did reduce the proposed cut to CUNY community colleges by $5.2 million in the final budget, but that is far less than is needed after three years and $350 million in state cuts to senior and community colleges.
Read PSC President Barbara Bowen’s Statement
Statement on Executive Budget | Revenue Measures | Testimony | Student Faculty Lobby Day | Direct Action, March 23 | TV Ad | Somos El Futuro Panel | May 5 Rally | Statement on Enacted Budget | Statement on Albany’s Tuition “Framework Agreement”
Governor Cuomo’s Proposed Cuts
CUNY Senior Colleges and University-Wide Programs
An $11.9 million cut carried over from the state’s current-year deficit reduction and a new $83.2 million cut, for a total reduction of $95.1 million.
A 10-percent ($226 per full-time equivalent) cut in community college funding that would bring the total three-year reduction in state aid to community colleges up to a $641 per FTE — a cut of almost 25%.
Tuition Assistance Program (TAP)
The governor also proposed to make permanent cuts and rule changes to TAP that were enacted temporarily during last year’s budget process. The current-year implementation of these temporary cuts has reduced or eliminated TAP aid for graduate students, dependents of retired workers, certain independent students, and students who are struggling with their federal student loans or grades.