New Deal for Higher Education in New York - A $4.7 billion Investment in Our Future
As a constituent who cares deeply about public higher education, I urge you to advocate for the New Deal for Higher Education in New York, which will provide additional funding to support the State University of New York and the City University of New York.
The New Deal for Higher Education in New York seeks to recenter our public colleges and universities as a common and public good. New York state must reaffirm the role that public higher education plays in our society, by standing up for a just, inclusive and well-funded system of public higher education.
Our state needs a New Deal for Public Higher Education in New York. Supporting this investment would establish SUNY, CUNY and New York's community colleges as the lead institutions in transforming New York into a sustainable, just and thriving society.
It is important and necessary to increase funding for higher education in New York, because public higher education contributes to the vibrancy of our communities by preparing students to be the workforce of the future, from teachers, nurses and technicians to programmers, paralegals and IT specialists.
The education and training available to students in public higher education will also create economic mobility and reverse economic disparities. To meet these objectives, our campuses require additional Operating Support; Student Supports; and Public Higher Education Access for All.
Institutions of public higher education in New York provide a world class education to poor and middle-class students, and their faculty conduct innovative research. But for too long, these institutions have achieved their missions on an austerity budget. To enhance the quality of students’ experience and increase student retention and graduation rates, these institutions of public higher education must substantially increase the number of full-time faculty and better compensate its adjunct faculty. Furthermore, SUNY’s three teaching hospitals at Stonybrook, Downstate and Upstate, train the next generation of health care workers who often continue to stay and practice in New York.
Accordingly, I am calling on you to provide an investment of $1.44 billion ($320M SUNY 4-year campuses; $175M SUNY hospitals; $439.3M SUNY community colleges; $261.4M CUNY 4-year campuses; and $250M CUNY community colleges).
Public higher education students bear stresses that make it extraordinarily difficult to stay in college. In fact, many of our students struggle - a reality that has only worsened since COVID-19. Institutions of public higher education serve a diverse population of, oftentimes, first-generation students. More than 50% of our students are students of color with median family incomes well under the New York state average. Food insecurity is a very real issue for many of our students and their families and, for most, their colleges provide their only access to mental health services.
I am asking for an investment of $267.2 million ($30.5M SUNY 4-year campuses; $100M SUNY community colleges; $91.2M CUNY 4-year campuses; and $45.5 M CUNY community colleges).
Students attend New York’s public colleges and universities because they know they will receive a high-quality, accessible education that opens doors to new opportunities. However, a continued shift of costs from the state to students has placed an additional financial burden on our students and their families and reduced access to the high-quality education every New Yorker deserves. Every dollar invested in SUNY and CUNY yields even greater returns for New York's tax base. If we continue to reach into the pockets of our students instead of investing public dollars into higher education, we will not be setting up our students for success, instead, we will be setting them up for years of student loan payments. I support an investment in CUNY, SUNY and community colleges to improve access to public higher education at-no additional cost to students.
To achieve these goals, I urge the state to make this investment of $4.7 billion to provide students with greater access to a world-class public higher education at SUNY and CUNY.
I respectfully ask that you bring up these issues with your conference and advocate for students, their educators and our public institutions of higher education.