Barron, Council Committee and Education Leaders Demand Return to New York City University System's Tuition Free Era

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Inez Barron--leads charge for tuition-free CUNY. Photo-Flickr.

Council Committee and Education Leaders Demand Return to New York City University System's Tuition Free Era

Council Member Inez Barron, Chair of the Committee on Higher Education will be joined by members of the committee along with other elected officials, students, faculty and staff to demand that the City University of New York system return to the tuition-free status it once enjoyed.

Barron's committee will announce the release of the City Council Task Force's White Paper Report. Barron sponsored Intro 1138 which was passed by the Council and signed by Mayor Bill de Blasio to become Local Law 161 in 2016. This bill established a task force on affordability, admissions and graduation rates at the City University of New York (CUNY).

“I appreciate the hard work of the members of the task force. It is my hope that this report will be used as a guide and a vehicle to obtain the necessary financial resources to support CUNY students and faculty," Council Member Barron said. "It is my ultimate goal, one that I’ve shared with my husband, State Assemblyman Charles Barron, former chair of this committee, to see CUNY return to a tuition-free institution. As a graduate of Hunter College, I had that benefit of attending college for free and did not have to worry about the cost of a tuition bill."

There will be a press briefing at the steps of City Hall at 9AM before the Committee on Higher Education holds a hearing on college affordability, costs, graduation rates and other recommendations to ensure students’ academic success. The Committee will discuss supporting faculty and improving college facilities.

"For most of its rich history, CUNY has been seen as an engine of social and economic mobility for everyday working-class New Yorkers. With the report issued by the CUNY Task Force, we finally have a blueprint to lead us back to CUNY's true roots: free tuition for all. The Task Force is calling on legislators from the city, state and federal government to read this white paper and act now," added Hercules E. Reid, Co-Chair of City Council CUNY Task Force.

John Aderounmu, Chairperson of the University Student Senate and Student Trustee said: “The White Paper issued by the New York City Council CUNY Taskforce presents lawmakers and New Yorkers with a unique opportunity. We have a chance to fundamentally change the narrative when it comes to higher education in our country. Instead of normalizing tuition increases and tuition hikes at our colleges and universities, let's try normalizing a free CUNY”.

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