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CONTACT: Don Feldstein or
Mike Lisi (518) 640-6600
Feldstein’s cell number is (518) 461-0275

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

February 12, 2014

UUP works in coalition with hundreds of SUNY students to advocate for increased funding for EOP, EOC programs


ALBANY
– More than 300 students from State University of New York’s Educational Opportunity Program (EOP) and Educational Opportunity Centers (EOC) and their advisors traveled to Albany today to press lawmakers to increase funding for the two vital programs. United University Professions, the union representing SUNY’s academic and professional faculty, brought the students to the Capitol to tell their elected representatives to protect access, academic support and financial aid to eligible students.

You have told us that were it not for these programs, many of you would not have had the chance to afford and attend college,” UUP President Frederick E. Kowal, Ph.D. said as he welcomed the students from across the state. “Each of you brings a personal story of what these programs mean to you and your families. We think it’s unconscionable to reduce funding for these programs, as the Executive Budget calls for.”

The governor’s proposed 2014-15 state budget contains a $632,400 decrease in funding for EOP, a program that provides academic and career counseling and financial aid to students from low-income families. The Legislature added that amount to the current state budget to fully fund the program, and the students and UUP members are asking lawmakers to restore that amount this year.

EOCs help prepare students for college or vocational training programs. The Executive Budget retains funding for EOC at last year’s level, but the students and advisors are asking lawmakers to increase funding so more eligible students can be accepted. “These programs help prevent students from becoming mired in debt, and give others extra preparation they need to excel in higher education,” Kowal said. “And make no mistake about it; these programs work. The EOP program is one of the most successful in the nation, with a higher graduation rate than the national average.

UUP is the nation's largest higher education union, with more than 42,000 academic and professional faculty and retirees. UUP members work at 29 New York state-operated campuses, including SUNY’s public teaching hospitals and health science centers in Brooklyn, Long Island and Syracuse. It is an affiliate of NYSUT, the American Federation of Teachers, the National Education Association, and the AFL-CIO.

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