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New York students protest education cuts

By staff |
March 7, 2014
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Albany, NY - Students from campuses across New York rallied against education cuts in Albany on March 6. The students protested Governor Cuomo’s proposal to cut $1 million from the City University of New York (CUNY) and $2 million from the State University of New York (SUNY) budgets. The bill comes on the heels of Governor Cuomo, a Democrat, proposing $2 billion in tax cuts to benefit the wealthiest New Yorkers.

Students held teach-ins, a summit and a press conference condemning the assault on education. Students chanted, “Education is a right! Fight, fight, fight!” and held signs that read, “Liberate public education!” Student leaders spoke about the need to defeat the 1% agenda of austerity and pointed out the hypocrisy of raising the cost of education while cutting taxes for rich capitalists.

The students, including activists from Students for Educational Rights at City College of New York, New York Students Rising at New Paltz and Albany’s Students Revolutionary Coalition, demanded an immediate freeze on tuition and restoration of $1.5 billion cut from the SUNY and CUNY’s budgets.

The cuts proposed by Cuomo force African American, Latino and other working class students to bear the costs of keeping colleges open in a state where 67 billionaires live. In the 2011-2012 academic year, students on average graduated with $25,537 in student debt. Nationally student debt increased over 63% in the past decade.

The day of action provided a networking opportunity for students who vowed to continue organizing on their respective campuses to unite a broad movement to fight against the cuts proposed in Albany, the state capital.