AFT New Jersey Calls For Better Funding for Successful College Student Program

American Federation of Teachers New Jersey President Donna M. Chiera said, “The Educational Opportunity Fund (EOF) program reflects sound educational practices—offering disadvantaged students who are willing to do the work social, emotional, financial and academic support to help mitigate the impact of poverty and give them the opportunity to succeed in pursuing higher education. We thank Senate President Steve Sweeney and all the legislators who recognize the value of the program and call on the Governor to support these students by retaining the funding level in the budget proposal.”

Rutgers Anthropology Professor President David M. Hughes, President of Rutgers AAUP-AFT faculty union said, “Funding for the EOF program should be increased. We in our institutions of higher education believe public education is a public good and the first thing about the EOF program is that it leads to economic progress because graduates get jobs and help lift their families out of poverty. Also, we are fighting big problems in this country. We are dealing with climate change, questions about fair immigration policies and income inequality. We need a citizenry and voters who can understand these issues at a high level. By supporting these students’ dreams and aspirations, EOF enfranchises and empowers a citizenry in a democracy.

The College of New Jersey third year student Rafiatu Nawuridam, an International Studies major with a specialization in the Middle East and a minor in Arabic, said, “EOF offers students like me a support system like no other. I go there when I have a family problem, need help editing an essay, planning for an internship, or to get my resume reviewed. Thanks to my EOF specialist who helped me craft my application, I received funding and will be studying abroad in Jordan. Without EOF that would not be possible.

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The American Federation of Teachers New Jersey is the largest higher education union in the state, representing faculty and staff at all the four-year public colleges and universities and ten community colleges. Learn more at www.aftnj.org