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Statement on Governor Hochul’s State of the State

Jan 13, 2023

We are heartened to see Gov. Hochul commit to continuing implementation of her vision for the transformation of our state’s higher education system in her State of the State policy book. After years of public disinvestment, she committed last year to increase CUNY and SUNY funding by $1.5 billion over five years. This funding is critical to improving student access and educational quality. The Governor started her planned reinvestment in CUNY with funding in her first budget for new faculty, financial aid reforms, expanded access to student loan forgiveness, additional campus childcare, capital improvements and other investments. These year-one investments in CUNY aligned significantly with the New Deal for CUNY, popular state legislation that would restore our once-free public university, rebuild its ranks of faculty and staff, fix its crumbling facilities and fulfill its potential as an engine of opportunity and equity. But there is more damage to undo and more potential to unlock!

The Governor’s plan to invest $1 billion to improve mental health services also aligns with the New Deal for CUNY, which would ensure at least one mental health counselor for every 1,000 students. Unfortunately, the proposal to increase tuition is a move in the wrong direction, especially when colleges are struggling to recruit and retain students at pre-pandemic levels and household budgets are strained by record inflation. CUNY was free for more than a century. It should be free once more.


Published: January 13, 2023

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