The following statement was issued on April 1 by SUNY Student Assembly President Marc J. Cohen.
“SUNY students were encouraged to see the restoration of many proposed cuts to higher education funding in the final FY 18-19 New York State enacted budget.
“Thanks to the stewardship of Senator Ken LaValle and advocacy from the Student Assembly, funding for SUNY's mental health tele-counseling network was doubled from $300,000 to $600,000. This added funding will allow this crucially important program to expand, and demonstrates Governor Cuomo’s and legislative leaders’ commitment to improving mental health resources in our state.
“While the Student Assembly continues to stand with SUNY in support of a new funding model for community colleges, we appreciate the $100 increase per FTE to base funding for SUNY's thirty community colleges. This increase, though, is not enough to combat the continued underfunding of community colleges throughout the system.
“The Educational Opportunity Program provides invaluable resources to students across SUNY, and is tremendously successful in putting thousands of disadvantaged young New Yorkers on a path to success. We very much appreciate funding being restored to this vital program.
“Increased investment in capital for projects on SUNY campuses will help to ensure that we remain a world-class institution. SUNY's massive infrastructure must be maintained and enhanced to improve quality of life for students, faculty, and staff, and to remain competitive with universities around the country.
“The Student Assembly appreciates the continuation of Maintenance of Effort for our state-operated campuses. We urge the Governor to finally support a true Maintenance of Effort however, which would prevent increasing inflationary costs from being born by students and families.
“On behalf of SUNY's 600,000 students, the Student Assembly thanks Governor Cuomo, Speaker Heastie, and Leader Flanagan for their work to ensure that SUNY is funded at the level necessary to provide access to an affordable, high quality education to all. Every dollar invested in public higher education yields five dollars in economic growth. We hope that our elected leaders continue to expand investment in one of our State’s greatest economic engines, the State University of New York.”