On February 7th, in my capacity as co-chair of the NCCFT Political Action Committee, I—along with Elaine Burm NYSUT’s PAC representative, Jane Morales, President of Herricks Teachers Association, and Jennifer Snyder, Vice President of Great Neck’s Teachers Association—met with Assemblywoman Michelle Schimel for about an hour to discuss the State-Base-Aid issues that concern us, specifically that the state should live up to its statutory obligations and fund a full 40 percent of the operating costs for Nassau Community College. Here are some of the details of what we discussed.
Increase State Base Aid by $260 Per Full-Time Equivalent Student (FTE).
I pointed out that, in light of the state’s economic difficulties, NYSUT supports SUNY’s rational five-year funding plan to increase state base aid by $205 per FTE, which would increase state funding to 33 percent. Last year, in 2012, the state provided an increase of $150 per FTE, which is $55 short of the $205 increase sought in the first year of the rational plan. The 2013-14 Executive Budget proposes flat funding for community colleges. This is unacceptable.
Reject Article VII Legislation to Establish the Next Generation NY Job Linkage Program (ELFA – Part D).
I asked Assemblywoman Schimel to reject Article VII legislation that would link our state base aid of $2272 per FTE to student performance in credit-bearing certificates, associate of occupational studies degrees, and associate of applied science degrees. If our students failed to meet the requirements laid out by the Executive Budget, we would lose both our share of the proposed $5 million performance based allocation and the $2,272 per FTE mentioned above. These funds would be linked to:
A. The number of students employed following degree or certificate completion and their wage gains, if any, as determined by the Department Of Labor.
B. The number of on-time degree completions, on-time certificate completions and student transfers to other institutions of higher education.
C. The number of degrees and certificate completions that do not meet on-time requirements of B. These would be given lesser weight than B.
D. The number of degree and certificate completions under B and C by a student considered academically-at-risk due to economic disadvantage or other factor of under-representation within the field of study.
E. The number of students who make adequate progress towards completion of a degree or certificate, which may include accelerated completion of a developmental education program.
Assemblywoman Schimel expressed her support for K-12 and higher education. I am confident after speaking with Assemblywoman Schimel that we have a friend in Albany committed to making sure that students get the best education they can at Nassau Community College.
Dawn Smith, Co-Chair
NCCFT Political Action Committee