Wednesday, April 23, 2014

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Education budget hearings take place

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CNY/NNY/S. Tier: Education budget hearings take place
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The future of SUNY was a big part of Monday's education budget hearings, and as our Vince Gallagher tells us, it comes with a big price tag.

ALBANY, N.Y. -- Education and the economy were both issues once again in Albany.

"We have to make up funding of around $27 million that was cut of the executive budget," said Nancy Zimpher, SUNY Chancellor.

SUNY Chancellor Nancy Zimpher and Assembly members took part in a public hearing based on Governor Cuomo's budget proposals. One recurring subject was medical education.

"We've already had to apply for the closure of one of our hospitals, the Long Island College Hospital, and there will be severe implications for the University Hospital in Brooklyn if we don’t have some stabilization funds," said Zimpher.

"We'll have fewer students, we'll be able to take care of fewer patients, but it's even worse than that, some of these facilities might close and downstate is in a very vicarious position," said H. Carl McCall, SUNY trustees chair.

But this is money that's not part of the governor's budget, so a legislative adjustment is one possibility.

"That's what the process allows for, the executive budget and the legislative response and they negotiate the outcome," said Zimpher.

The chancellor also described the situation as "system challenge and a partnership with New York State.”

"When we have some financial hemorrhaging on any one of our campuses, the only way to supplant that is to tax one of our campuses and they're in pretty tight financial situations right now as well," said Zimpher.

In other areas of education, the governor's plan also includes $25 million in grants for full-day, pre-kindergarten programs and $20 million to lengthen the school day by 25 percent. However, for now, many advocates and education officials say there's not enough in spending increases to meet the needs New York schools.

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