People who monitor local news have probably heard about expansions of the Columbia, Cornell and possibly NYU campuses. This comes on the heels of Mayor Bloomberg’s competition in which universities from around the world vied for a grant to build or expand a school of technology and engineering in New York City. New York legislative history does have instances of government offering economic incentives for education, but what makes this unique is the sheer amounts. Columbia is getting $15 million as a consolation prize while the main grant, $100 million, is going to Cornell towards a technological institute on Governors Island.
It’s not just Ivy League schools getting money from the city and state to improve education in technological fields. Bill A00539 creates a similar grant program for community colleges. The bill establishes the C-CHIP program which will steer money toward engineering, technologically-based vocational education and improving infrastructural technology.
Although expensive, government officials say the cost will be offset by new investments, an influx of students and improved educational and economic opportunities for New Yorkers. The true costs and benefits will not be known for some time as most of these projects are in their infancy. More New York legislation on the subject is forthcoming.