PSC is urging the mayor and the City Council to invest in CUNY.
New York City provides roughly 34% of the funding for CUNY's six community colleges:
- Borough of Manhattan Community College
- Bronx Community College
- Hostos Community College
- Kingsborough Community College
- LaGuardia Community College
- Queensborough Community College
CUNY’s community colleges provide opportunity for record numbers of low-income and minority students despite years of underfunding and cuts. State funding for the community colleges has been cut by $685 per full-time equivalent(FTE)student since 2008 (inflation adjusted.)And the 2013 state budget only begins to repair the damage by restoring $150 per FTE.
City funding for CUNY has been more stable, despite many proposed cuts, thanks in large part to the support and dedication of the City Council. But even City support has failed to keep pace with rising enrollments. In fact, from 1990-91 to 2011-12, revenue from the City to CUNY community colleges declined as a proportion of total revenues, falling from 42% to 34%.
The Proposed Budget for CUNY in 2012-13
Mayor Bloomberg has proposed a flat-line budget for CUNY community colleges that doesn’t account for enrollment increases, inflationary costs and devastating cuts to scholarships and other programs. His plan for CUNY assumes a requested $300 tuition hike that many community college students cannot afford and it defunds council-supported initiatives that enrich the college experience and improve student success.
PSC's City Budget Platform
Fund CUNY’s Mandatory Cost Increases ($8.2 million)
By failing to provide additional funds to cover regular, inflationary cost increases associated with energy and personnel that are necessary to run the university, the Mayor’s Preliminary Budget leaves CUNY unable to maintain its current level of service to students. The Council must first provide these funds.
Fund New Full-Time Faculty and Staff Lines and Other Student Supports ($28.9 million)
Instead of hiking tuition, support CUNY’s full budget request with increased public funds for CUNY community colleges. Protecting students from another tuition hike would require $24.3 million. Funding CUNY’s requested enhancements would require $4.6 million. CUNY needs public funding for new full-time faculty lines, new counselors and additional student services. These investments will help students can get the classes they need to graduate on time, bring class sizes under control, and ensure that community college students get the support they need both in and out of the classroom.
Continue to Fund programs Supported by the Council ($19.6 million)
The Vallone Scholarship (defunded in 2011) and Safety Net program (defunded in 2009) were the only financial aid available to undocumented students. These and other Council-supported programs such as the Black Male Initiative, Murphy Institute for Worker Education, Center for Puerto Rican Studies, the Dominican Studies Institutes and the Creative Arts Team have all provided a gateway to opportunity and a better future. The Council should restore them all to 2009 funding levels.
Capital Budget Enhancement and Critical Maintenance Needs
After years of enrollment growth and deferred maintenance, CUNY community college facilities need sustained capital investment. Students learn more and faculty and staff are more productive when they have modern equipment, decent facilities and a safe, healthy learning/working environment. The Council must fully fund CUNY's capital budget request for the community colleges, including matching state capital appropriations completely. For too many years, the city has "left money on the table" when it has not matched state contributions and critical building maintenance and construction projects have remained stalled.
Download a new brochure produced by the PSC: Invest in CUNY Community Colleges.