April 2005

Higher Education

From the NYS Assembly • Sheldon Silver, Speaker
Ron Canestrari • Chair, Higher Education Committee
What the experts are saying...

“The Senate and Assembly have agreed on a win-win budget for students and families across New York State.”

- Miriam Kramer, Higher Education Coordinator, New York Public Interest Research Group

“We were staring down the barrel of a gun aimed at as many as 1,700 academic and professional faculty who would in all likelihood have been laid off if the budget did not include additional funding, and that would have adversely affected some 34,000 students throughout the SUNY system. We’re relieved that this budget provides an additional $132,875,000 for SUNY’s state-operated campuses, including the $84.3 million in additional operating aid that was needed to prevent those layoffs and program cuts.”

– William Scheuerman, President, United University Professions

“The budget was created with far more openness than usual. Conference committees, once rare, drew much of the debate out of the back rooms, and budget meetings involving the governor and the four legislative leaders were public.”

– Editorial,
New York Times,
April 5, 2005

“[T]he state Assembly and Senate this year adopted a process common enough elsewhere but virtually unprecedented in modern Albany: They crossed the aisle to produce coherent spending plans in each chamber, then used conference committees to resolve differences.”

– Editorial,
The Post-Standard,
March 30, 2005

Legislature passes budget that makes necessary investments in higher education

The Legislature passed a bipartisan on-time budget that rejects the governor’s tuition increase and his plan for automatic tuition hikes each year.

SUNY and CUNY students can rest a little easier knowing that our budget protects access to a college degree. But the fight isn’t over. We need the governor to sign the Legislature’s bipartisan budget.

Rejecting cuts to the Tuition Assistance Program

The Legislature’s budget also rejects the governor’s proposed 50 percent cut in the Tuition Assistance Program. TAP has helped countless children from working families achieve their goal of a college education.

Other important higher education items in the bipartisan budget include:

  • restoring community college aid by $115 per Full-Time Equivalent (FTE) student;

  • restoring the governor’s cuts in opportunity programs;

  • rejecting differential tuition that would have made it more expensive to attend our university centers;

  • agreeing on a capital plan; and

  • creating memorial scholarships for the families of American Airlines flight 587 that crashed in Belle Harbor, New York on November 12, 2001.

The governor’s call for a tuition increase at SUNY and CUNY – combined with a 50 percent cut to TAP would have had devastating effects on New York’s most disadvantaged students. The Legislature’s fair, responsible and on-time budget is an important victory for the future of New York’s higher education system.

To find out what your local community college will receive in restored FTE funding, please visit the link: http://assembly.state.ny.us/comm/HiEd/2005CommColl/

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