I was the first in my family to go to college. Education created opportunity for me in business, and later in government. My daughter graduated from SUNY New Paltz. The SUNY schools in our Senate District -- New Paltz, Delhi, and our lo-cal community colleges -- present educational opportunities for area residents and create jobs in the region.
Last year, the Legislature diverted tuition, paid by those who attend SUNY, and sent those dollars to pay for other func-tions of state government. I opposed that move. I believe that taking SUNY tuition and not using it for SUNY amounts to a tax on the students and families who pay tuition.
Now, some are arguing that each SUNY campus should be able to set their own tuition rates -- meaning higher tuition for our families that rely on SUNY. I am opposing that plan. Families rely on SUNY to provide not only a quality college education, but also one that is relatively affordable.
Letting each campus set its own tuition could lead to higher tuition each year. I view a higher cost as an added tax on middle-income New Yorkers who may need SUNY, or want to use SUNY for their children’s higher education.
In the coming years, many of our children and grandchildren will make the choice to go to college. Keeping the SUNY system affordable is important, not just today, but also in the future. You can help support keeping tuition affordable for families by answering a few simple questions on the attached questionnaire.