Last evening, the New York State Senate and Assembly passed a mid-year deficit reduction plan that includes no budget cuts for community colleges. As you may recall, Governor Paterson had proposed reducing the state’s final quarter payment to community colleges by $11 million—such a cut would have eliminated more than $2 million from MCC’s 2008-09 budget. The agreed-upon plan has the support of Governor Paterson.
We certainly appreciate this show of support for New York’s community colleges.
We are still faced with proposed cuts for next year’s budget. Governor Paterson has proposed a 10 percent cut to community colleges, equaling a more than $4 million hit for MCC’s 2009-10 budget. Legislators may have been unwilling to cut community colleges mid-year because colleges were unable to plan for and accommodate the cut, but that argument will not hold true for next year’s budget. While we believe in shared sacrifice, we will continue to convey to our legislators the impact of proposed cuts on an MCC education and our ability to meet our community’s workforce needs.
Larry W. Tyree