Speaker Carl Heastie and Higher Education Committee Chair Deborah Glick today announced that the approved State Fiscal Year (SFY) 2020-21 Budget will uphold the Assembly Majority's longstanding commitment to promote college affordability despite the financial challenges presented by the ongoing public health emergency.
"Five years ago, we rolled out the Higher Education Road to Success Initiative, and since then we have never stopped fighting to deliver New Yorkers greater access to high quality affordable public education," said Speaker Heastie. "In these challenging and uncertain times, education and upward mobility have never been more important. That is why we fought relentlessly to ensure the preservation of critical funding for the programs New Yorkers count on to climb the economic ladder."
"Education has always been the great equalizer and has paved the way to the middle class for countless New Yorkers," said Assemblymember Glick. "Now more than ever, we can see how essential an educated workforce is to public safety and working families."
Rejection of Proposed Tuition Increases
Over the last nine years, tuition at State University of New York (SUNY) and City University of New York (CUNY) schools has increased by $2,300, or 40 percent, placing a significant financial burden on students. The Assembly has continually fought proposed tuition increases for SUNY and CUNY schools, and successfully prevented tuition increase beyond Academic Year (AY) 2021 in the proposed SFY 2020-21 Budget.
Community colleges offer the type of flexible and affordable higher education experience that is critical to helping New York's diverse student population climb the economic ladder. Community colleges are funded on a per pupil basis through Base Aid. The enacted SFY 2020-21 Budget continues the same level of per pupil support for community colleges as last year.
CUNY's Accelerated Study in Associate Programs (ASAP) helps students earn associate degrees within three years by providing a range of financial, academic, and personal supports and offering special class scheduling options. The spending plan will restore $2.5 million in funding for CUNY ASAP.
The approved budget would also restore funding for SUNY and CUNY Child Care Centers, for a total of $2.1 million to SUNY and $1.7 million to CUNY.
The enacted budget maintains funding for the following essential opportunity programs:
The final spending plan includes $27 million to fund the Jose Peralta New York State DREAM Act. This legislation will eliminate potential financial obstacles undocumented students in New York may face when applying for the Tuition Assistance Program (TAP) to attend an institution of higher education.