March 23, 2011

Taking action to defend higher ed

Author: Frank Maurizio
Source: NYSUT Newswire

Hundreds of supporters of public higher education joined several dozen members of the Professional Staff Congress — which represents faculty at City University of New York — in Albany this week to protest proposed budget cuts to the university system.

In the end, several PSC activists, including President Barbara Bowen, were arrested for blocking access to the executive chambers at the state Capitol.


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"We made the decision to risk arrest because we cannot allow the injustice of this (executive budget proposal) to stand," Bowen said.

Under the executive proposal, senior colleges at CUNY would lose more than $95 million while CUNY's community colleges would be cut $17.5 million.

PSC — like its statewide affiliate, New York State United Teachers — supports an extension of the so-called "millionaires' tax," which would add approximately $5 billion to the state's coffers over two years and could be used to offset some of the draconian education cuts proposed in the executive budget. Those cuts include a record $1.5 billion to K-12 schools.

For more on the PSC protest, see www.psc-cuny.org.