State University of New York Chancellor Nancy Zimpher is thanking Assembly Speaker Sheldon Silver, D-Manhattan, for the pitch he made yesterday on boosting community-college funding.
This is what Silver said in a speech before Gov. Andrew Cuomo gave his State of the State address:
“To strengthen the third rung of the ladder (to success), we are proposing to increase the state’s support for our community colleges. With high unemployment and widespread under employment, more and more of our citizens are looking to community colleges for a new path to a better life. By law, this state is obligated to fund up to 40-percent of the operational budgets of our community colleges, but only once in four decades has the state fully met that obligation. Now, when these learning centers are so important to our economy, to our companies and to our workers, we must increase our investment in them.”
In November, SUNY trustees proposed a $23.7 million community-college funding hike in the 2012-13 budget. They want an increase of $205 per student annually for five years.
This is what Zimpher, who was singled out by Cuomo yesterday as a great leader, said in a statement today:
“We are thrilled that Assembly Speaker Sheldon Silver has made a commitment to increase support for SUNY’s community colleges.
“His recognition of the state’s obligation to fund community colleges at fair and sustainable levels not only highlights his commitment to their critical role in workforce development, but also to relieving the tuition burden that for far too long has fallen on the shoulders of students and their families.
“I commend Speaker Silver’s decision to make this pledge on such a momentous day for the people of New York, and I in turn pledge SUNY’s support in working with the Speaker to help realize this increased investment in our state’s future.”