Thursday, May 25, 2017

SUNY Student Assembly Reacts to Federal Budget Proposal

The following was submitted by the Student Assembly of the State University of New York. 

Student leaders from public colleges and universities across New York stand united against the massive cuts to education and research spending in the FY18 executive budget proposal.

The president’s budget proposes cutting Federal Work Study (FWS) by more than half of its current funding. In 2015-16, twelve thousand SUNY student received FWS aid packages at a combined value of $23 million. Additionally, the elimination of the Perkins and subsidized Stafford loan programs would be severely detrimental to the students of the State University of New York and our peers across the nation.

It would also be irresponsible and reckless of the federal government to eliminate the public service loan forgiveness (PSLF) program. While the Office of Management and Budget justifies cutting PSLF as a program that “unfairly favors some career choices over others,” the Student Assembly strongly opposes this unnecessary reduction and urges bicameral and bipartisan leadership to restore funding to previous levels.

The president’s budget proposes eliminating the federal Supplemental Educational Opportunity Grants (SEOG) program, support for international education and foreign language education, and the phasing out of the National Endowment for the Arts, National Endowment for the Humanities, and the Institute of Museum and Library Services. Additionally, the budget calls for an 18% reduction in funding to the National Institutes of Health, a 27-institute consortium that provides crucial biomedical research funding for colleges and universities and is responsible for some of this country’s greatest research breakthroughs.

The Student Assembly implores congressional leaders to reject these harmful cuts in their budget negotiations and hopes that the legislature will restore funding to these crucial programs.

"Cuts of this nature would be detrimental to students across our state and nation," said Student Assembly President and SUNY Trustee Marc J. Cohen. "The administration's attempts to provide even more obstacles to attaining a higher education is reprehensible and the 600,000 students of the State University of New York won't stand for it. I urge congressional leaders in the strongest possible terms to reject the current budget and demand support for our students and our future."

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