January 3, 2017
BP ADAMS STATEMENT ON GOVERNOR CUOMO’S PROPOSAL FOR TUITION-FREE COLLEGE EDUCATION
“For decades, New Yorkers have fought hard to close the inequality gap threatening to swallow thousands of families whole. We know, empirically and anecdotally, that access to higher education is one of the greatest roadblocks to economic opportunity in a job market that demands more than a high school diploma. Thousands of Brooklynites have crippling student debt weighing down their ability to invest in their futures, and the status quo is simply unsustainable if we hope to keep the middle class in our borough.
“I am heartened by the new State proposal to make the City University of New York (CUNY) and State University of New York (SUNY) free for students from households making less than $125,000 annually. It is a proposal that builds off of the call that I have fought for alongside leading education advocates to reinstate free tuition at CUNY’s community colleges. Senator Bernie Sanders, who deserves ample credit for bringing this issue into the national spotlight, is absolutely right: At a time where the federal government appears unable or unwilling to consider progressive reforms like this, it is up to states such as New York to lead the way and be the incubators of meaningful policy innovation.
“I look forward to supporting my colleagues in the State Legislature as they work through the finer details of this proposal, starting with an ask for them to review a report prepared by the New York City Independent Budget Office (IBO), at my request, on the economic feasibility of tuition-free community college. It is clear we need to evaluate the cost and design of this program, including how it will best advance academic achievement, in order for it to be the success New Yorkers need it to be. As a two-time CUNY graduate, I know our city will prosper when every one of its young people has the ability to attain a degree from one of these outstanding institutions.”
Office of Brooklyn Borough President Eric L. Adams
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