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Statement on Governor Hochul’s Executive Budget

James Davis, President of the Professional Staff Congress/CUNY

“Last year, Governor Kathy Hochul made a five-year, $1.5 billion commitment to restoring CUNY and SUNY and set an ambitious goal to increase New York’s college graduation rate because she knows the power of public higher education to transform lives and strengthen the economy. The planned FY2024 CUNY increases of $94 million in recurring operating funds and $643 million in capital investment are a welcome and needed investment, for which we thank the governor. Unfortunately, these increases fail to keep pace with the five-year plan or to meet CUNY’s budget request. A budget that depends on tuition hikes and leaves CUNY underfunded will further entrench the racial and economic inequalities that have plagued New York’s system of higher education funding.

“CUNY is New York’s most powerful force for opportunity for low-income New Yorkers, immigrants, and students of color. Yet we’ve lost 600 faculty and staff in the last two years! And only 8% of CUNY’s buildings are in a State of Good Repair! Our students need more full-time faculty and advisors, well-equipped libraries and labs, and safe, modern buildings and classrooms. The shortage of full-time mental health counselors at CUNY should be prioritized in the Governor’s $1 billion mental health plan. In short, New York City needs a fully funded, tuition-free university, not another round of annual tuition hikes. With tax revenue running several billion dollars ahead of projections, according to the Comptroller’s latest report, Albany is positioned to make these investments.

The Professional Staff Congress is eager to work with the Governor and the Legislature to further increase the State’s support for CUNY and to enact New Deal for CUNY legislation so that the public college students of New York City can have the free, fully funded high quality education that they deserve. Albany must meet the needs of this moment by improving the working and learning environment at CUNY and allocating the funding needed to fulfill CUNY’s potential as an engine of opportunity and equity.”

Published: February 1, 2023 | Last Modified: February 2, 2023

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