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Statement on Comptroller Brad Lander’s Report

Apr 09, 2024

Statement on Comptroller Brad Lander’s Report ‘Spotlight: CUNY and the New York City Economy’ as it Relates to the State and City Budgets

James Davis, President, Professional Staff Congress/CUNY

The NYC Comptroller’s latest Spotlight report released today, “CUNY and the New York City Economy,” details CUNY’s impressive return on investment for graduates, the economy, and for the City and State tax bases. Among other findings, it shows that baccalaureate degree holders who attended CUNY earn, on average, more than twice the income of workers with only a high school diploma. 80% of all CUNY graduates still live and work in New York state a decade after graduation, paying billions in City and State income taxes. CUNY leads the nation in empowering economic mobility for low- and middle-income students, immigrant and first-generation students, and students of color. Fully funding CUNY is great economic and social policy.

In Albany, as the State budget process drags on, it’s critical that Governor Hochul and our legislative leaders remember the value of CUNY, so powerfully expressed by the City Comptroller. Passing a final budget that fails to make significant, impactful new state investments in CUNY’s operating budget would be a deeply regrettable missed opportunity.

In City Hall, where the municipal budget process is heating up, Mayor Adams must reverse his policy of repeated cuts to CUNY. Our community colleges have been cut by $95 million during his tenure! The mayor can look to the comptroller’s report, as well as to his own experience as a CUNY graduate, to see the error of his ways. And the City Council, who have been steadfast and effective in their efforts to protect CUNY funding, can look as well, and be reminded that they are fighting the good fight.

CUNY cannot continue to do more with less. With the end of pandemic relief funds and continued shortages of faculty and staff, CUNY needs investment to continue to serve its mission.

The Professional Staff Congress (NYSUT, AFT Local 2334), represents 30,000 faculty and professional staff at the City University of New York who have worked more than a year with an expired contract. CUNY’s senior colleges are funded by New York State. New York City and New York State share responsibility for funding the CUNY community colleges.

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Published: April 9, 2024 | Last Modified: April 12, 2024

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