Assembly Members Eye Bundy Aid

The following is taken directly from the Albany Times Union political blog. Feel free to post your comments below.

Some Assembly members are proposing the state eliminate an annual subsidy to private colleges and use the money – $45 million – for public colleges.

On the block is Bundy Aid, a subsidy started in 1968 to help private schools. But advocates of diverting the money say private institutions today have big endowments and donor lists, high tuitions, and other aid coming in. The plan would phase the aid out over five years.

Assemblyman Peter Rivera, chair of the Assembly Puerto Rican/Hispanic Task Force, and Assemblyman Luis M. Diaz, chair of the Assembly task Task Force on New Americans, in a release said public schools need money to improve student performance, to put more full-time faculty on staff, and for physical improvements.

They pointed to some high profile drives and donations to private schools, including a $4 billion fund drive at Cornell University’s and a $1 million a day drive at New York University, and a $600 million gift to Columbia University.

“Neither the CUNY nor SUNY systems have the capacity to launch such fund drives. Neither has wealthy donors annually contributing millions, and neither can rely on exorbitant tuitions to fulfill their mission to educate the masses,” said Rivera.

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