Assembly Speaker Carl Heastie and Higher Education Committee Chair Deborah Glick announced today that the Assembly's SFY 2016-17 one-house budget invests $1.7 billion in higher education, maintaining critical state support for CUNY operating costs, providing for a two-year tuition freeze for CUNY and SUNY students in addition to a 20 percent increase for opportunity programs. The proposal includes more than $819 million in capital assistance and increase base operating aid at community colleges and grant awards under the tuition assistance program (TAP).
"The Assembly Majority has always believed that investing in our children's academic success is the best investment we can make for the future of New York's families and communities," said Speaker Heastie. "This year, we strengthen our promise to ensure that an affordable college education is within reach of every student and family in our state."
Assemblymember Deborah Glick said, "This budget proposal represents the Assembly Majority's unwavering commitment to ensuring that our students have access to a high quality, affordable college education. SUNY and CUNY have helped countless students and their families to secure their paths to the middle class. By providing a substantial increase in funding for opportunity programs, we are continuing to raise the bar and deliver the support students need to achieve success."
The Assembly proposal rejects the Executive's cost shift of $485 million for CUNY colleges to New York City and freezes tuition for students at CUNY and SUNY schools for two academic years. The budget would earmark an additional $749 million for capital support at state colleges and university centers as well as provide the state's 50 percent match for several community college projects across the state. The proposal also increases the base operating aid for community colleges by $100 per full-time equivalent and raises the maximum TAP award by $100 to $5,265 per student.
In keeping with its promise to build and maintain access to higher education for middle and low-income families, the Assembly proposes a 20 percent increase over last year's budget for opportunity programs over last year. Total allocated funding includes:
For the fourth consecutive year, the Assembly budget would include the New York State DREAM Act and invest $27 million to provide eligible immigrant students with access to TAP, scholarships and opportunity programs. It would also allow immigrant families who have a taxpayer identification number to open a New York 529 family tuition savings account.
The Assembly maintains its longstanding support of continuing education programs by increasing funding for Educational Opportunity Centers (EOC) by $5 million for a total of $60 million with an additional $20 million for capital needs. ATTAIN Labs would see an increase of $2 million over last year's budget for a total of $6.5 million in support. The plan would also allocate restorations of: $2.5 million for CUNY's Accelerated Study in Associate Programs (ASAP); $1 million to support programs at the Joseph Murphy Institute; $600,000 for Graduate Diversity Fellowships; $250,000 for the Cornell University Veterinary School; and $250,000 for the CUNY Pipeline at the Graduate Center.
New York's SUNY and CUNY systems have provided a high quality public education to countless students and their families as well as a variety of non-traditional community-based health and child care services. For SFY 2016-17, the Assembly builds on last year's Foster Youth initiative by earmarking $3 million to support foster students on their path to higher education. The proposal would also continue the Assembly's commitment to help families working to advance their education by restoring nearly $2 million to support child care centers at SUNY and CUNY campuses.
Thousands of New Yorkers receive essential health services and care at SUNY hospitals and the Assembly invests $50 million in capital support for SUNY Downstate Hospital and provides $2.8 million for the creation of a new CUNY School of Medicine at City College. The plan also restores $18.6 million for a total of $87.9 million to support SUNY Health Science Centers. Under new initiatives, the Assembly supports funding for the creation of a SUNY Clean Energy Workforce Opportunity Program to provide a bridge to training and employment opportunities in emerging clean energy fields.