Albany cuts rattle public colleges

Please share this article:
Facebooktwitterlinkedinmail

Laura LaVacca
Campus News. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .
The latest piece of news to come amidst economic crisis includes Governor Paterson’s steep budget cuts in CUNY and SUNY schools. The proposed budget reductions would cut student programs, layoff many teachers and support staffs, and threaten to “undermine opportunities for students looking to start careers and unemployed workers training for new jobs” (http://www.nysut.org).  Paterson’s proposal includes a $84.3 million dollar cut from CUNY’s 2011-12 budget. This would decrease financial aid and tuition assistance for books. This would inevitably result in some students being unable to attend school altogether. An article by Anna Gustafson entitled “Queens College Students Worried Over CUNY Cuts” describes such students.  One student in the article explained that she would probably have to leave school altogether because her family cannot afford to pay more for her education. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .
Paterson feels the cuts are necessary and released a statement saying that “there are no more easy answers” and we must stop “spending money that we do not have. Significant spending reductions are necessary if we want to emerge from this crisis and build a strong fiscal and economic recovery” (Gustafson). . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .
There has been quite a response to the situation from students and teachers. Just a few weeks ago students and professors from the SUNY and CUNY schools joined forces in Albany on March 9th to protest the proposed budget cuts. The protest was organized by the New York Public Interest Research Group. Students and employees were given a chance to talk with legislators about the issues surrounding the cuts. Hundreds showed up to express their concern. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .
In addition, New York State United Teachers (NYSUT) launched a statewide campaign by creating two commercials that air in New York, informing New Yorkers about the budget cuts.  The ads strive to remind the public that investing in higher education would help the current economic state.  The president of NYSUT, Richard C. Iannuzzi, stated that “New York’s recovery will hinge on business’ ability to hire skilled workers to develop new products in what is emerging as a knowledge-based economy.” He added that “If Albany fails to reject the governor’s proposed education cuts to public schools, to SUNY, CUNY and their community colleges, business leaders will go out of state to hire skilled workers for knowledge-based jobs or they may not be in a position to create any new jobs at all” (http://www.nysut.org). The budget cuts not only have immediate negative effects but would hurt the future of students and the job market. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .
Many students attending SUNY and CUNY schools share the same sentiments as Iannuzzi. Colleen Calder, student at SUNY Buffalo, fears for the quality of education, stating, “SUNY Buffalo allows me and countless fellow students to affordably receive a nursing degree. We need schools like SUNY Buffalo to offer the best teachers and services for nursing students and others in the medical field to assure that health care in New York isn’t negatively impacted.” . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .
Michael B., a student in Nassau County, also weighed in, “I think Governor Paterson needs to reevaluate the situation. This doesn’t seem to be the best option. What does this mean for the reputation of CUNY and SUNY schools? We are going to have less programs and qualified people? And it’ll cost more? Something’s not making sense.” . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .
Even graduate students expressed concern. Jessica L., a graduate student at Queens College expressed her concern saying, “It’s scary. What’s next? I’m a teacher, and as a professional I feel awful for these undergraduate students. At the same time, I feel bad for myself! I chose Queens College for its affordability. CUNY schools are known for that. What now?” . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .
“What now?” seems to be the golden question. The future of education at CUNY and SUNY schools may be changed for the worse. Time will only tell if these budget cuts were the smartest decision.

We'd like it if you'd connect with us:
Facebooktwitterlinkedinrssyoutubemail

Please share this article:
Facebooktwitterlinkedinmail

About Campus News 609 Articles
Contact us to write for us or to advertise!

Be the first to comment

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published.


*