Let’s Restore $36.6 Million Cut From Community College Budgets by the City

April 10, 2009


Thank you so much for participating in the 2009 State Budget Campaign for CUNY. In a very difficult budget year the results were encouraging. Chancellor Matthew Goldstein, University presidents, faculty, administration and students worked tirelessly to contact New York State Legislators regarding CUNY’s budget.

Governor Paterson and the leaders of the New York State Legislature have reached an agreement on the Fiscal Year 2009-2010 operating and capital budgets.

Here’s what it means to us and the rest of the community colleges
On the operating side, the agreement restores all proposed reductions in Aid. At the community colleges, the budget allocates $18.3 million in federal stimulus funds to CUNY in order to rescind the proposed reduction in base aid.

The State Adopted Budget also enhances the Executive Budget legislation
regarding the investment of revenue generated from tuition increases. The University will be able to use 20% of these revenues in FY2010, which will grow incrementally to 50% by FY2013. This shift in state tuition policy will allow our colleges to make significant investments in our Master Plan priorities, including full-time faculty and student services. It will also enable the University to implement the Student Financial Assistance Initiative that was outlined in our budget request.

But what of the $36.6 million cut out of community college budgets by the city?
Next year’s preliminary budget for New York City is currently under review by the New York City Council. The budget calls for $36.3 million less in direct operating support than is needed for CUNY’s six community colleges.

Moreover, the budget also proposes a cut of $6.8 million to the Peter. F Vallone Scholarship program. This scholarship support is crucial to hundreds of BMCC students.

Go on-line to www.supportcuny.org
I urge you to contact City Council members and ask for their support to restore the proposed reductions and provide critically needed funding.

It is vitally important in these difficult economic times, to support community colleges, which provide pathways to careers and further educational advancement by helping to strengthen the workforce of productive New Yorkers.

Go to supportcuny.org, which assists members and friends of The City University of New York community in communicating our views to city officials. I invite you to e-mail your City Council member, whether you are students, a faculty member, an alum, parent, civic and business leader, and any other New Yorker who cares about the quality and affordability of public higher education.

Antonio Perez

Antonio Pérez

President, Borough of Manhattan Community College/CUNY

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