Suffolk Legislator Tom Cilmi, a member of the Suffolk County Legislature’s Higher Education & Information Technology Committee is again calling for an end to New York State’s decades old out-of-county tuition mandate which forces counties to subsidize students who attend community colleges outside their resident county.
The renewed call comes after the release of an annual report from the office of County Comptroller, Joe Sawicki, detailing the number of students and amounts paid to community colleges outside Suffolk County.
The report shows a total cost in 2011 of nearly $13.1 million, up 168% from the 1995 cost of nearly $4.9 million. The report shows just a 29% growth in the number of students from Suffolk attending community colleges outside Suffolk County.
Cilmi said, “When the growth in the expense far outpaces the growth in the number of students, clearly Suffolk taxpayers are footing the bill for a rise in tuition costs at other community colleges. We have a terrific community college right here in Suffolk with some of the finest professors spread among three conveniently located campuses. If a Suffolk resident wants to attend a community college outside Suffolk County for some reason, that’s fine, but our taxpayers should not have to subsidize that decision.”