On state support for community colleges

To the editor:

Does New York state hate community colleges? The short answer is “no.” But, community colleges are certainly not feeling the love. In spite of their increasing importance for workforce training, for opening up opportunities for less advantaged students, and for providing new educational opportunities for adult learners, community colleges are the poor cousins of the SUNY system. The most striking evidence for this is the amount of state expenditures for community college operating budgets, in comparison with the those of the state operated colleges. Whereas the per student expenditure for the latter is approximately $19,000, for community colleges, the figure is approximately $5,500. As the Albany budget season moves towards its conclusion, it is important for citizens of the state who are concerned about the future of our young people and their roles in creating a prosperous future to be aware of this inequity, and to let their representatives in Albany, including the governor, know that community colleges warrant more support.

Richard P. Suttmeier

Chair, North Country Community College Board of Trustees

Keene Valley


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