City University of New York votes to raise tuition

Published Jul 30, 2011 6:48 AM

As this goes to press, three students won a temporary restraining order against CUNY prohibiting it from raising tuition because the Board of Trustees didn’t follow proper rules in its vote. More details to come in an upcoming article.

In June, as part of the budget deal worked out by the Democratic Governor Andrew Cuomo, the state legislature passed a bill allowing City University of New York and State University of New York to raise their tuition by $300 a year for the next 5 years. These hikes, which really should be considered a new education tax, will affect over 600,000 students, the vast majority of which are the daughters, sons or members of the working class.

CUNY had already raised its tuition by 10 percent in the 2009-10 school year.

Because of its charter, CUNY’s Board of Trustees had to implement the tuition hike that the legislature authorized. It held a public comment session July 20 on its resolution to raise tuition before an executive session July 21.

Even though these hearings were held in the middle of the summer in the midst of a heat wave, with many students and faculty members gone, there were still protests.

New York City Council member Charles Barron denounced the raise in a fiery speech that ignored the BoT’s three-minute limit.

Anthony Gronowicz, an adjunct faculty member at Manhattan Community College and a Green Party activist, pointed out “Tuition is a tax that did not exist in City University from 1847 through 1975. When CUNY was free for those 128 years, it provided an avenue for many, including our esteemed Chancellor, [Matthew Goldstein] to advance themselves. Continuing to raise tuition for our students, some of whom have to choose between a Metro card and lunch, is to deny them the opportunity for a higher education.” (Professional Staff Congress list serve)

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