(Long Island, NY) Three busloads of Suffolk County Community College students travel to Albany onWednesday March 4, 2015 where they will tell the New York State Governor and State Legislators about the issues most important to them, especially the affordability of higher education and New York State’s failure to maintain its promised share of funding to community colleges as stipulated in New York State Education Law. The students will gather at the college’s three campuses for the ride to the State Capitol.
Article 126 of the Education Law says that tuition and fees charged to students “shall be fixed so as not to exceed one-third of the operating costs of the community college.” Since 1991, however, this provision has been suspended by language in the annual appropriations bills. In effect, New York’s community college students are providing a substantial subsidy to State and local governments. If State support were simply maintained at the one-third level, the situation would be improved.
Students have been preparing for their trip to the Capitol for several weeks and have set appointments with the Governor’s Office and local State Legislators. The students will present their representatives with copies of petitions with more than 1,000 signatures. The petitions ask legislators to restore community college funding to the statutorily set amount set in education law.