Bernie Sanders Stands with Andrew Cuomo as the NY Gov Unveils Tuition-Free College Plan
Just as the Republican congressional majority was sworn in, New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo made a bold announcement. Standing with Sen. Bernie Sanders at LaGuardia Community College in Queens, the governor announced a new plan to offer free tuition at state colleges to nearly a million New Yorkers by 2019.
"College is a mandatory step if you really want to be a success," Cuomo said during the press conference. "This society should says, if you need college, we're going to pay for college because you should be successful. New York State is going to do something about it ... It should be a wakeup call to this nation."
The Excelsior Scholarship could benefit up to a million New York families who earn $125,000 or less per year and will cost approximately $163 million.
Cuomo praised Sanders for his visionary discussions in his introduction of the "special guest."
"Senator Sanders spoke for the middle class and the working men and women all across this nation and the issues that are important to them," Gov. Cuomo said in his address.
Sanders was a strong advocate of tuition-free college and spoke fervently about the right of education on the campaign trail.
"[Sanders] spoke to this issue of college affordability and was ahead of his time in doing it and really awoke the nation to this crisis of college affordability," Cuomo added.
At the event, Sanders touted his public school education from his days at Brooklyn's PS 191 to his one year at Brooklyn College.
"If we are going to do justice to the working families of this country, to the low-income families, if we are going to have an economy that creates jobs... we must have the best educated workforce in the world," Sanders said. "Our job is to encourage every person in this country to get all of the education he or she can, not to punish them for getting that education."