Picente Requests Community College Mandate Relief

Oneida County to Pay Over $500,000 to Send Students to FIT

Oneida County Executive Anthony J. Picente Jr. has requested that New York State reexamine its process for charging counties for its residents to attend community colleges statewide.

In a letter to SUNY Chancellor Kristina M. Johnson, Picente explained how the unfunded mandate of community college chargebacks is severely impacting Oneida County’s budget for 2019.

While Picente called for a comprehensive review of the state’s community college funding process, he said there is one correction that could be made to provide relief to Oneida County immediately.

Under the current system, the Fashion Institute of Technology in New York City is considered a community college even though it offers four-year degrees and graduate programs. From 2017 to 2019 Oneida County will send an average of 13 students to FIT at a cost of $557,230 to the local taxpayer.

“Quite frankly, not only does this chargeback not make any logical sense it also comes with an exuberant price tag that is fiscally irresponsible,” Picente said. “It is long past time that FIT be treated like any other SUNY school that offers bachelor and graduate degrees.”

Picente said what used to be a 33% split between the state, county and tuition revenue, community college education funding has now morphed into a disproportionate share in which state’s contribution has decreased at the expense of the others. That has resulted in counties being forced into a complicated chargeback system for their own host colleges and also for students going to any other community colleges around the state.

To view a copy of Picente’s letter click here.