Sunday, March 27, 2016
No, Not New York City...
Wealth may be more geographically concentrated in urban centers, but poverty is way way more concentrated in urban centers...and where there are high concentrations of poverty come there is political indifference.
You cite CUNY's ASAP program as being the envy of other community college initiatives, but I'm not sure if you realize that CUNY's community colleges and four-year colleges are much bigger targets for budget cuts than other NY state community and four-year colleges.
And that K-12 public school system? NYC public schools have been receiving far less per student funding than the rest of the state for quite some time now, despite the fact that this area of the state produces the largest income. (A decade-old lawsuit finally resulted in the correction of this funding formula, but Gov. Cuomo is refusing to comply with the judge's orders so NYC schools are still getting shafted.)
Yes, large urban centers may include concentration of opportunities, but they also include a concentration of disadvantaged groups that politicians often ignore.
As for folks from out-state New York, it doesn't help that the NY metro area has a bigger population than the state of New York, or that people from northern NJ who work in NYC probably say where they work before they say where they live.
That said, I don't think the comparison is apt. Students still prefer contact with people over machines and many college students like sports in person as well.
And I have a number of friends who are happy to live where I live and fly to NYC for what it has to offer. They can easily afford to do that!
While the infusion of money targeted at improving student outcomes with an equity focus has been welcome, we continue covering our basic costs with fairly static general fund monies even though our annual costs (step & column, insurance premiums, utilities, bargaining agreement negotiated costs, etc.). Couple this with a downturn in enrollment with the attendant loss in state funding as the economy in California continues to improve is forcing many colleges into an interesting contortion: Struggling to find appropriate and useful ways to spend the categorical monies while squeezing already taxed operations to keep the place running.
Federal dollars that can be used as direct operating aid would be welcomed not only in the interior of the country but at many places along the coasts.
In our defense, they appear to be self-immolating on a level that is difficult to comprehend. cf: Walker, Brownback, Scott, etc. etc. etc.