1 Education Drive

Room F-3293 Garden City, New York 11530

NYSUT and PSC Defend Public Higher Ed in NYC

This is a NYSUT slide show. You can see others on their Flickr page. The photos come from PSC-CUNY’s participation in the March 4 Day of Action to Defend Public Education.

Want to help out by making a statement against cuts to SUNY Community Colleges? Click here to read and send a letter prepared by NYSUT on our behalf. Below is an excerpt from the letter:

As a constituent and a supporter of public higher education, I am asking for your support for SUNY community colleges in the 2010-11 State Budget. Specifically, I ask that you reject the Executive Budget proposal to cut SUNY community colleges by $53.8 million or $285 per full-time equivalent (FTE) student. This cut is in addition to the recurring mid-year reduction of $130 per FTE student for a total cut of $415 per FTE and would bring the state per-student expenditure to $2,260, the lowest it’s been in a decade. This cut equates to a 15.5 percent reduction below the 2009-10 level of state support of $2,675 per student enacted in the spring of 2009.

I realize that the state is facing enormous fiscal challenges however cutting community college base aid will negatively impact our state and local economies by slowing our economic recovery and will only exacerbate our already high unemployment rate. These job-killing cuts will do irreparable harm to students and the neediest New Yorkers.

Hundreds of thousands of people, especially working class New Yorkers, depend on these institutions as an entry point to achieve a college degree or get specialized training to obtain a good job. In fact, the demand for the academic services provided by these campuses has gone up dramatically as people have lost their jobs and seek further education and technical skills to become more marketable in an extremely difficult job market.

Enrollment at SUNY community colleges has reached record levels. In 2009, enrollment was up by 9.8 percent for a total population of 242,742 students which is 20,000 students more than the student population attending SUNY four-year campuses. Fourteen SUNY community colleges reported growth in enrollment of more than 10 percent and four campuses grew by more than 15 percent. This explosion in SUNY community college enrollment growth is fueled by an increase of 10.8 percent in first time full-time students, an increase in new transfer students of 21.4 percent, and an 11.8 percent increase in continuing students. Enrollment will continue to rise.