NYSUT, White House put focus on higher ed

Today’s assignment: Make college more affordable.

And that’s a topic getting a lot of attention, with President Obama’s summit on college costs coinciding with the launch of NYSUT’s higher education campaign to “Keep New York a State of Mind.”

The NYSUT campaign underscores the vital importance of New York’s public universities and colleges, and the need to restore them to their rightful place as major players in the state’s economy. It calls for creation of an endowment for the State University of New York and City University of New York that would rebuild faculty, staff, programs and services; public funding that would restore decades of state cutbacks; and a strong state investment in student financial aid and opportunity programs.The SUNY and CUNY systems have lost nearly $2 billion in state funding in the last five years.

“NYSUT has consistently advocated that our public colleges and universities are vital community assets, but they have been seriously underfunded, resulting in too many students finding opportunities limited and their on-time graduation threatened,” NYSUT President Dick Iannuzzi said.

Meanwhile, President Obama brought leaders from more than 100 colleges and universities — including from CUNY and SUNY — to the White House today to discuss ways to expand access to higher education, including ways to make college more affordable.

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