New York’s Tuition Bill

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New York State isn’t moving so quickly on higher education reform, whatever shape it’ll eventually take. According to a piece by Nick Reisman at The Journal News:

Senate Democrats yanked a measure twice today that would grant more powers for the state’s public colleges today and the second time around they lost GOP votes in support.

The program known as SUNY Empowerment would allow individual campuses to set their own tuition rates borrow money and undertake economic-development projects has become the main battle over passing the state’s 2010-11 fiscal year spending plan.

The “ SUNY Empowerment” bill would allow the component colleges of the State University of New York to raise tuition as they see fit. Currently the state legislature must approve SUNY tuition increases.

The New York Public Interest Research Group, the United University Professions union, and several other education-affiliated nonprofit groups said that under the new law “New Yorkers can expect big tuition hikes and a rapid acceleration in the shift of public dollars away from SUNY and CUNY.”

The groups also demonstrated that state allocations for public colleges decline faster when the schools have the power to set their own tuition.

It’s likely the bill will become law eventually, as the Democratic withdrawal of the bill looks to be merely political gamesmanship to improve other legislative prospects.

New York currently enjoys one of the most affordable public tuition rates in the United States. [Image via]

Daniel Luzer

Daniel Luzer is the news editor at Governing Magazine and former web editor of the Washington Monthly. Find him on Twitter: @Daniel_Luzer