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New York State Comptroller H. Carl McCall has released a report condemning Governor George Pataki's proposed higher education budget cuts.

In “Higher Education as an Investment: The 1997-98 Executive Budget Cuts in Context,” McCall, a likely Democratic candidate in next year's governor's race, chronicles the proposed CUNY and SUNY tuition increases and cuts to the state Tuition Assistance Program.

McCall criticized the GOP governor for cutting education while remaining committed to his tax cut program. Some of McCall's findings include:

With last year's tuition hike of $750 at CUNY and SUNY, Pataki's proposed increase of $400 this year would amount to an increase of more than 40 percent over two years.

Cuts in TAP would deny grants to nearly 38,000 students and reduce total TAP awards by 29 percent. The average TAP award will decline by $389 from an average of total of $2,300. The proposed TAP cuts would fall most heavily on lower-income families.