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February 2015

 

It's budget time
Kevin Peterman

 

nysut mac

It’s budget time!

On January 14, Governor Cuomo released his proposed 2015-16 NYS budget. By law the budget should be in place by April 1. For community colleges it is not a good budget. There is no increase in FTE base aid. What makes it even worse is that his budget calls for 10% of the base aid to be performance based as well as many other “top down” approaches. SUNY’s summary of the executive budget can be found here.

Many of the proposals in the proposed budget are a devastating departure from the way community colleges operate and are funded. The FA has been working with NYSUT’s legislative department to warn state assemblypersons and senators not to be fooled by budget gimmicks or buy in to this attempt to diminish our autonomy.

As I mentioned in our December issue, we have engaged the student leaders at each campus to advocate for additional state aid. Working together I believe we can increase the state’s share of our funding.

The students are joining us in our campaign to Reclaim the Promise and ask for our rightful share of funding. By law open access community colleges should be receiving 40% of our funding from NYS. In the current 2014-15 SCCC budget, the state is providing about 26%. Working together we have a greater chance of educating our elected officials regarding our funding and mission.

We are taking several actions to help make our case. The students are initiating a petition drive to reclaim the promise during common hour on Wednesday, February 18.

In addition, NYSUT has developed a community college link in its MAC app to use social media to contact your state representatives: https://mac.nysut.org.

On February 25 and 26 several FA leaders will be in Albany as part of NYSUT’s Higher Ed Lobby Day. We will make the case to maintain our autonomy and secure “no gimmick” increases for FTE base aid.

I will be in Albany on March 2-4 to continue our efforts. On Monday I will meet with senate and assembly leaders to discuss higher ed issues and on Tuesday I will join our NYSUT colleagues to advocate for increased funding for pre-K through higher ed public education.

Wednesday, March 4, is SUNY Advocacy Day. Three buses from Suffolk will be carrying our students up to Albany to lobby our elected officials. I will join them in their efforts and help explain the process.

We need your help.

  • Please encourage your students to participate in the Reclaim the Promise campaign and download the NYSUT MAC app.
  • Encourage them to become active in the political process.
  • Download the MAC app and contact your elected officials.

Remember: Activism works!