New York City Comptroller Scott Stringer is among several mayoral candidates who responded to The Envoy’s survey on CUNY policy. The following are Stringer’s raw answers to the survey. To read the article about all of the mayoral candidates’ survey responses, click here.
1. What role do you believe the city and state should play in funding community colleges? Should such colleges be tuition-free?
CUNY is the largest urban university system in the nation and is the most powerful engine of economic mobility in the city. It was created to provide a top-of-the-line education to New Yorkers of all backgrounds. Given our challenging economic landscape, our city needs CUNY to be resourced and empowered to prepare the coming generation of students to enter the workforce. Both the City and State should play a key role in funding community colleges. That’s why I proposed we make CUNY community colleges tuition-free for all students, including those taking classes part-time while juggling work and childcare demands. It’s time to dramatically expand the scale, quality, accessibility, and affordability of its education and job training programs, and make community colleges truly accessible to all at no cost.
2. What role do you believe the state should play in funding senior colleges? Should such colleges be tuition-free?
Under my proposal, all two-year junior CUNY colleges would be tuition-free. This also increases the affordability of students pursuing a four-year degree as well, as I have proposed an expansion of ‘stackable’ credits, which provide a pathway toward a degree designed to be completed in shorter phases.
3. How would you expand job opportunities for CUNY students and graduates?
I believe CUNY is essential to any workforce development strategy in New York City—which means it is vital to our city’s economic recovery. It’s why I proposed a comprehensive strategy that centers and leverages CUNY to help upskill our workforce, train New Yorkers for the jobs of tomorrow, and build a more inclusive economy. The fact is communities of color and low-wage workers have borne the brunt of the COVID-19 pandemic. My plan will address these disparities and deliver equity. By bringing together CUNY, private employers, and community-based organizations to upskill the city’s workforce.
My proposals for expanding job opportunities include a universal paid internship program for CUNY students, the creation of a CUNY Tech Corp to support small businesses, and increasing apprenticeships and subsidized wage programs. We should also expand career and technical education, early-college, and College Now in our public schools; align private industry and workforce training; focus on youth unemployment and out-of-school, out-of-work New Yorkers; build out subsidized wage programs for targeted populations, and expand certified apprenticeships.
New York State should overhaul its Shared Work Program to help businesses rehire and retain staff, and we should expand bridge programs that pair job training with language education and basic skills training.
4. Would you expand mental health and wellness funding and services for CUNY students? If so, how?
Yes, we should create partnerships between CUNY, the New York City Department of Health and Mental Hygiene (DOHMH), and non-profit health care providers to ensure CUNY students receive the necessary health and wellness services they need.
5. How would you support CUNY students experiencing food and/or housing insecurity?
To address food and housing insecurity, we must connect CUNY students and their families with City-run food pantries and avenues for affordable housing, including distributing information on the availability of affordable housing units and how to apply for housing vouchers for low-income New Yorkers.
6. How would you decide who to appoint to the CUNY board of trustees?
My appointees for the CUNY board of trustees would be diverse, experienced educators who are CUNY graduates. That would be the best representation to make decisions for the future of the university.