ALBANY, N.Y. March 8, 2011 - New York State United Teachers kicked off a radio ad campaign today, calling on Albany to reject millions in proposed budget cuts targeted for the state's community colleges.
The 60-second radio spot - titled 'What's Going Up?' - notes that at a time when unemployment is rising, so too is enrollment in the state's community colleges, which play a vital role in preparing students for today's high-tech economy and retraining displaced workers to re-enter the work force.
"Cuts to community colleges are counterproductive to creating jobs and to producing a highly educated, skilled and trained work force," said NYSUT President Richard C. Iannuzzi. "Our state simply cannot afford these job-killing cuts - cuts that also would put higher education further out of reach for New York's working families."
The state's community colleges stand to lose $44.3 million under the proposed Executive Budget unless the cut is rejected by the state Legislature. That cut, representing a 10-percent aid reduction, would come on top of the $68 million slashed from community colleges since December 2009.
"Our public community colleges are key to New York's economic recovery and long-term economic success," said NYSUT Executive Vice President Andrew Pallotta. "The time has come, once and for all, to stop the routine practice of cutting these institutions off at the knees."
The NYSUT radio campaign, which will run through March 15, will be heard on radio stations across the state from Buffalo to Long Island.
NYSUT, the state's largest union, represents more than 600,000 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.