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Local Pols Join Farmingdale State Students In Rallying Against Proposed SUNY Cuts

State Senator Charles J. Fuschillo, Jr. (8th Senate District) recently joined over 100 Farmingdale State students in rallying against Governor Paterson’s proposed SUNY funding cuts which could cost Farmingdale State College over $1 million in state aid. State Senator Kenneth LaValle (1st Senate District) and Assemblyman Joseph Saladino (12th Assembly District) also joined Senator Fuschillo and the students in opposing the cuts.

Farmingdale State stands to lose over $1 million in state aid because of the Governor’s proposed SUNY funding cuts. The funding cuts could result in a hiring freeze, slowing the growth of academic programs, and reduced access to Long Island’s students.

The funding cuts come on top of an already implemented tuition hike of 14.2 percent, or $620 per student, in the spring 2009 and fall 2009 semesters. The overwhelming majority of these new revenues was not invested into the SUNY schools but was used by the state to pay for expenses that had nothing to do with higher education.

“Cutting SUNY funding could lead to fewer programs, services, and opportunities for college students. Students are already paying more because Governor Paterson raised their tuition, but are now going to be getting even less in services. This is the wrong approach at a time when more and more people are depending on SUNY schools like Farmingdale State because of the economy,” said Senator Fuschillo.

Farmingdale is the largest of SUNY’s technology colleges and is rapidly growing. Since 2000, Farmingdale State College has seen its full-time enrollment increase by 67 percent, and currently has a student body of over 7,000. Farmingdale was recently named one of the best baccalaureate colleges in the Northeast by U.S. News and World Report.

In addition, Senator Fuschillo noted that investing in the SUNY system helps promote economic development in addition to increasing educational opportunities for students. A study by the Long Island Association found that Farmingdale State College plays a vital role in Long Island’s economy, providing an over $1 billion economic impact. Through its direct operating and capital expenditures, Farmingdale State has increased Long Island’s earnings by an estimated $354 million and created more than 10,000 secondary jobs throughout the economy.

Senator Fuschillo, Senator LaValle, and Assemblyman Saladino also urged each of the students to contact Governor Paterson and urge him not to cut SUNY funding.