Last semester, $90 million was cut from the SUNY system. This was after enduring the $143 million cut in 2008. SUNY students want education to be a New York State priority; it is as important as healthcare, public housing and environmental work.
However, state politicians chose to chip away funds from all social institutions. Money was taken away from libraries, schools, hospitals, park services and public transportation. SUNY students were outraged at the cuts which would immediately affect them as well as their families. Students on campuses across the state, as well as community groups of all shapes and sizes, gathered to speak out against the poor handling of our state's budget, but the proposed cuts were approved nonetheless.
SUNY students have not forgotten about our state's financial crisis. Political stalemates and fake compromises are unacceptable at any time in history. However, in the midst of statewide political drama, New Paltz residents have the unique opportunity to invest in renovations to the middle school. Many of us went to schools with poor heating, outdated electricity service and overcrowded lunchrooms, so when we see community members organizing a sensible plan to expand walls and revamp the energy flow, we see better opportunities for students to learn. Educational resources should be up to date, effective and environmentally friendly for all students of all ages.
The low impact tax increase necessary for these renovations will be a shining example of shared sacrifice for a more efficient and comfortable learning experience for New Paltz middle schoolers.
It is encouraging to see local leaders push a plan like this forward and we strongly support their endeavors to make learning comfortable and enjoyable for everyone.
The 49th Student Association Senate
SUNY New Paltz