ALBANY, N.Y. January 10, 2007 - New York State United Teachers today urged the Assembly to continue to invest in the State University and City University systems, saying that boosting operating aid to four-year campuses should be a top priority in next year's budget.
"There is no better investment for the state's economic well-being than the minds of its students, whether they are in pre-kindergarten classes or enrolled in doctoral programs at one of our great university campuses," said NYSUT President Richard C. Iannuzzi. "Public education is what is going to drive New York forward."
In testimony before the Assembly Higher Education Committee, NYSUT Executive Vice President Alan B. Lubin thanked lawmakers for their continued support of SUNY, CUNY and the state's community colleges.
"You have always recognized the importance of providing an affordable, accessible and quality higher education to the citizens of this state," Lubin said.
Lubin called on the governor and the Legislature to build on last year's significant funding increases to SUNY and CUNY in order to reverse the chronic underfunding of these institutions.
"Improving New York's economy can be a reality, if we continue to invest in SUNY, CUNY and our community colleges," Lubin said. "Our college and university systems can be the engine that powers New York's economic resurgence."
In addition to operating-budget increases, NYSUT urged Assembly members to focus on increasing the number of full-time faculty lines and increasing base aid to community colleges.
NYSUT represents 575,000 teachers, school-related professionals, academic and professional faculty in higher education, professionals in education and health care and retirees. NYSUT is affiliated with the American Federation of Teachers; National Education Association and the AFL-CIO.