Your help is needed today to protect your community colleges
As you know, last week the Governor proposed a budget that has the potential to destroy the community colleges and other public services. The Governor has stated that the State can no longer afford the level of services provided in the past, and we must reduce the size and function of our state government. Instead of taxing the rich or proposing well thought out reductions, the Governor is proposing an across-the-board 5.75% cut to all agencies.
By the way, managers (Dean-level and above at the colleges) are scheduled to receive up to 12% salary increases in March while the Governor proposes laying off the front line workers. Help us fight back!
We need you to call or send a letter your state legislators and ask them to:
1. Fund the Community College system adequately. The Community Colleges provide the "critical" service of educating our residents in Connecticut's urban and rural settings. Compared to UConn and Connecticut State University, Community College students in Connecticut receive far less instructional and student services support (see here for figures). And for all systems of higher education, the state's share of funding reduces almost every year, causing the colleges to rely more heavily on tuition dollars.
2. Keep tuition affordable. The Governor has proposed moving the costs for healthcare and retirement to the block grant instead of keeping these costs within the Comptroller's budget (the agency that negotiates the rates for these costs). Healthcare and retirement costs fluctuate from year to year, making budgeting difficult. It is especially difficult for the colleges because they need to decide on tuition levels before the state budget is final.
3. Stop the use of multi-million dollar consulting contracts to private companies. For example, the State paid the Boston Consulting Group $1.8 million to create Transform CSCU 2020, a plan that was criticized from its beginning and has since been all but abandoned. Despite the debacle know as Transform CSCU, the BOR and the State continue to pay millions of dollars to outside consultants, many of them out-of-state like BCG.
4. Invest in our students! Community Colleges are economic drivers for the state and the community. The state wants to keep and further attract businesses. How can it do so without an educated workforce? The Community Colleges are best poised to work with companies in their communities to create academic programs that
will support these businesses in competing locally and in a global economy
. Not to mention that community college graduates stay in Connecticut to live and work by higher percentages than the state's other public institutions.
Again, your help is needed. You can find the contact information for your state legislators
. Calling is best; letters are second best. Legislators receive upwards of 1,000 emails a day, so they are the least effective.
Please use the four talking points above, but feel free to personalize them. Let your legislators know what challenges our students are facing and how our faculty and staff are doing our best to help them succeed.
Finally, in the footer of this email, there is a link to forward this email to a friend. Please let others - students, parents, community members, businesses - know what we are facing and ask them to join us in fighting back.
The Appropriations Committee will be hearing testimony on Wednesday, February 10 about the Governor's proposals for higher education. Please spread the word so that all legislators hear our collective concerns as soon as possible.
, and in solidarity. Stronger Together!