Think, and look, ahead: Invest in higher ed

What a week!

Rallies, rallies everywhere. Over 400, including folk singer Pete Seeger, at the mid-Hudson rally and between 200-400 in Syracuse depending who you read. WOW! We’re putting up photo galleries as fast as we can. We see the support for public employees at rallies and in the polls. There are now four national polls that show solid support for unions and against rolling back collective bargaining rights.

This afternoon AFT President Randi Weingarten and NYSUT Vice President Maria Neira are touring Marlboro schools. NYSUT’s Health and Safety Conference starts up in Saratoga Springs.

Looking ahead to next week higher education members will be in Albany lobbying against proposed budget cuts Monday and Tuesday and 4201 schools will rally in Albany on Thursday.

Ellen Schuler Mauk laid some groundwork when she came to lobby Feb. 15.

Here’s just what’s going on at her college. Over the last 10 years, Suffolk Community College’s enrollment has increased 33 percent, but it’s had a 0 increase in county funding for the last two years and a $10.5 million cut in state aid. The Faculty Association renegotiated its contract for a 0 percent increase in 2011-12 and 2012-13 and agreed to increased class sizes. Students are already shouldering 45.85 percent of the cost of their education.

I will post an updated rally schedule at the end of today. Here’s the calendar. Thanks, Dean!

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