Assembly One-House Budget Invests $18.2 Billion in Higher Education, Including Increased Funding for Opportunity Programs

Assembly Speaker Carl Heastie and Higher Education Committee Chair Deborah Glick today announced the Assembly’s State Fiscal Year (SFY) 2019-20 Budget promotes college affordability by restoring and increasing funding by $23.8 million for opportunity programs, as well as providing support to the State University of New York (SUNY) and the City University of New York (CUNY) so they can provide students with a world class education. The proposal also earmarks more than $900 million for capital investments at public colleges and universities around the state, and fully funds the Jose Peralta New York State DREAM Act.

“The Assembly Majority is dedicated to bringing affordable, quality education to all New Yorkers,” said Speaker Heastie. “This budget builds on the progress of previous years, continuing to raise the bar on investments in higher education, and to ensure true affordability that supports as many students as possible on their path to a college education.”   

“This budget reaffirms the Assembly Majority’s commitment to delivering a higher education system that is accessible and affordable for every family,” said Assemblymember Glick. “This funding will ensure that more New Yorkers have access to quality education and can pursue successful futures.”

New York’s SUNY and CUNY systems are an invaluable asset in making college affordable for students and their families. In keeping with its promise to build and maintain access to higher education for middle-and low-income families, the Assembly budget restores the following opportunity programs and provides an increase of $23.8 million, or 20 percent:

  • $37.5 million, for EOP a $5.4 million increase;
  • $32.8 million, for SEEK a $4.7 million increase;
  • $1.6 million, for College Discovery a $225,000 increase;
  • $41.4 million, for HEOP a $5.9 million increase;
  • $21.4 million, for Liberty Partnerships a $3.1 million increase;
  • $18.4 million, for STEP a $2.6 million increase; and
  • $13.9 million, for CSTEP a $2 million increase.

The Assembly proposal includes $12.8 million for SUNY and $14.8 million for CUNY in increased operating support, by beginning to offset the Tuition Assistance Program (TAP) gap.

Other investments would continue funding support for longstanding Assembly priorities, including $6 million for Educational Opportunity Centers (EOC), a $250,000 restoration to support the CUNY Pipeline at the Graduate Center, $5.5 million for ATTAIN Labs, and $1.5 million for the School of Labor and Urban Studies. Other SUNY budget funding includes restoring:

  • $600,000 for Graduate Diversity Fellowships for a total of $6.6 million;
  • $750,000 for Small Business Development Centers;
  • $600,000 for Mental Health Services at SUNY; and
  • $250,000 for the Cornell Veterinary School.

The Assembly builds on the successful Foster Youth College Success Initiative, which began in 2015, by earmarking $6 million to support foster students on their path to higher education. The proposal would restore $2.5 million for CUNY Accelerated Study in Associate Programs (ASAP) and continue the Assembly’s commitment to help families working to advance their education by restoring over $2 million to support child care centers at SUNY and CUNY campuses.

The Assembly includes $400 million for CUNY and $500 million for SUNY for new capital expansion projects. The plan provides for $30 million for EOCs and $30 million for the Higher Educational Capital (HECap) Matching Grant Program as well.

The Assembly’s dedication to providing an affordable quality education to all New York students finally paid off earlier this session with the passage of the Jose Peralta New York State DREAM Act. This legislation (A. 782, De La Rosa) would eliminate potential financial obstacles to obtaining state financial aid for undocumented students in New York seeking to attend an institution of higher education. The Assembly budget includes $27 million to implement the program.

In order to ensure all New Yorkers have access to higher education, the Assembly proposal includes $2 million in additional supports for students with disabilities, increases funding to the part time scholarship by $2 million, provides $15 million in funding to students for non-tuition expenses through the Martin Luther King Jr. Scholarship, and restores funding for the STEM scholarship for non-public colleges.

Among other actions in the Assembly budget are proposals to expand the current maintenance of effort that protects funding for SUNY and CUNY schools, require the executive to submit a five year capital plan for SUNY and CUNY senior colleges as part of the Executive Budget proposal beginning in 2020, and require the state to appropriate general fund operating support to cover any increase in the tuition credit for SUNY and CUNY beginning in the SFY 2020-21.