Raising the Compulsory Attendance Age to 18
Currently, in New York State, a student can stop attending high school after turning 16. Given the foundational importance of an educated public in a democracy, as well as the proven significant lifetime earnings differential between those who do and do not graduate high school, New York should require attendance in high school for students until age 18 (with an exception for those graduating early). This is an important step in attempting to end the multi-generational cycles of poverty and is likely to significantly improve graduation rates in schools across New York State. New York should follow the lead of numerous other states and raise the compulsory attendance age.
Introduce Public Matching of Private Donations to SUNY Colleges
New York State should introduce a public-private partnership between the State and alumni, parents and friends of SUNY Colleges by matching private donations to SUNY College endowments. A matching gift program would encourage alumni support of the SUNY system while multiplying the impact of state funding to SUNY schools. Growing the meager endowments of SUNY colleges will provide more scholarships, more research and more teaching for a stronger SUNY system. Improving SUNY Colleges will allow New York State to attract more top tier students to our state.