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Monday, March 28, 2016

Steuben Legislators support community college state aid increase

BATH – The Steuben County Legislature voiced strong support Monday for a state initiative to increase base aid support for community colleges in 2016-2017 by $285 per full time equivalent student. The initiative, "Stand up for SUNY" does not increase Steuben taxpayers' state-mandated share of support for Corning Community College. The state Association of Counties, the State University of New York (SUNY) board of trustees, the City University of New York and SUNY Presidents’ associations, the Community College Trustees Association and the SUNY Faculty Council also have endorsed the plan. Supporters of the initiative say the increase is long overdue, with the state’s base aid to universities and colleges stagnant, and well below the schools’ operating costs. CCC’s current base aid rate of $78 per full time student is lower than aid provided prior to 2008-2009 and is currently pegged at $26.7 million -- far below one-third of the college’s operating costs, according to county officials. Steuben officials said the college’s financial security is critical to the well-being of county residents and a vital part of the overall economic and workforce development of the communities.