ALBANY, N.Y. Jan. 3, 2017 — New York State United Teachers today called a new proposal to offer free college tuition at SUNY and CUNY campuses to middle-class and low-income students “an exciting approach to making college more accessible and affordable for New York families.”
NYSUT President Karen E. Magee said the proposal announced by Gov. Andrew Cuomo and Vermont Sen. Bernie Sanders could be a difference-maker for tens of thousands of New York students who currently cannot afford college, or who take on student debt that crushes their ability to move ahead with their lives after graduation.
“We know that cost is a huge barrier to college for tens of thousands of New York students and their families. Eliminating tuition at SUNY and CUNY as well as at our two-year community colleges, would be a game-changer for these students and also for New York’s already excellent public education system,” Magee said.
NYSUT Executive Vice President Andrew Pallotta said, “This is a bold approach to addressing two of the most vexing problems facing our state and our nation — college affordability and student debt. This exciting proposal would kick open the doors of opportunity for students, many of whom now can’t even approach the door. We applaud this strong statement by the governor and Sen. Sanders on behalf of students, the state’s economic future and the promise of public higher education as a great equalizer. We look forward to working with the governor and Legislature toward making this initiative a reality while redoubling efforts to fully fund SUNY and CUNY.
New York State United Teachers is a statewide union with more than 600,000 members in education, human services and health care. NYSUT is affiliated with the American Federation of Teachers, the National Education Association and the AFL-CIO.