Soon after Governor Andrew Cuomo unveiled his budget for fiscal year 2017, the protests began at New York City’s public colleges.
Nearly 500 students and faculty members traveled to Albany two weeks ago to attend a rally, and another group returned Tuesday to meet with legislators. Last week, the University Student Senate held a press conference on the steps of City Hall.
Why are you targeting our colleges? they asked. Do you know how much the higher education system matters to our city?
For decades, the state has paid for most of the operating funds of the City University of New York’s four-year colleges and universities, much like it does for campuses of the State University of New York (though CUNY’s community colleges do receive city funds). But in January, Cuomo announced his plan to reduce state funding by $485 million. On Thursday, the New York State Assembly rejected the plan in its one-house budget, which proposes restoring the $485 million and freezing tuition for two years. But the matter is far from resolved.