In good times and bad times, public higher education has taken it on the chin. Iím disappointed that the Governorís budget proposal continues to erode support for our institutions of public higher education. Alleged reform proposals simply wash our hands of the questions of affordability of those systems at a time when the enrollments have never been higher, especially for our gateway institutions, the community colleges.
The $285 per student base aid reduction is a cut of $57 M for state support of community colleges. Combine this with a basic tuition assistance program (TAP) cut of $16.5 M and an ancillary cut of various TAP programs of $18.3 M, these cuts result in severely limiting the ability of income eligible students accessing public higher education and undermining our ability to grow our way into a new technologically-based economy.
By cutting the senior SUNY and CUNY colleges by $143 M, and then suggesting that they can be free to raise tuition to mitigate that and any other shortfalls puts us on a course to make public colleges inaccessible and unaffordable for New Yorkís working families.