From the NYS Assembly • Sheldon Silver, Speaker
Ron Canestrari, Chair, Higher Education Committee
|Investing in tomorrow today|
The state budget approved by the Legislature makes significant investments in New York’s higher education system, rejects the governor’s harmful cuts, and blocks his shortsighted vetoes.
The budget will help strengthen New York’s higher education system and ensure that all students have access to an affordable college education by adding an additional $239.31 million in state support to SUNY, CUNY and community colleges.
A major accomplishment of this year’s budget is a $131.33 million increase in operating aid that blocked the governor’s proposed tuition hikes of $500 for State University of New York students and $300 for City University of New York students.
The budget also creates a new TAP program to help part-time students at all SUNY, CUNY and independent 4-year colleges and universities; increases overall SUNY/CUNY operating aid – allowing SUNY and CUNY to add more faculty; and keeps eligibility for full-time TAP at 12 credits.
Increased funding for vital programs.
The 2006-07 state budget provides an increase of over $17 million in base aid to local community colleges. Other highlights of the plan include:
The budget invests $767 million more in funding for SUNY/CUNY capital improvements over what the governor initially proposed.
The Legislature has a proven record of delivering results and keeping the promise of a college education within reach of New York’s students. During his tenure the governor has attempted to cut higher education by more than $3 billion, increased tuition by 65 percent, allowed state support for community college funding to drop to the lowest it’s been in 30 years and attempted to cut TAP 9 separate times.
Fortunately, the Legislature has stood up to these cuts and made critical restorations to higher education. Universities and colleges are vital to creating a well-trained workforce, new jobs, bringing in federal research dollars, and most important, keeping our young people here in New York.
The failure to properly fund higher education could have disastrous results for our future. Students have no trouble finding world-class learning institutions in New York, but the more difficult part is often finding the money to pay for their education.
Governor Pataki and his allies in Washington are trying to make it harder for New Yorkers to afford a college education. While the governor proposed cutting TAP for some of New York’s most vulnerable students, the U.S. House of Representatives recently voted to slash $12 billion in federal funding for education loan programs – the largest cut ever to student loans.
A clear victory for students.
We don’t need to create more obstacles and expenses for students looking to get a college degree, and that’s just what the governor’s vetoes did. Fortunately, the Legislature worked in a bipartisan manner to stand up to the governor’s harmful cuts to deliver a budget that provides our students with the educational opportunities they need to succeed.
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