FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE: January 12, 2009
SCHUMER, PATERSON ANNOUNCE MAJOR EFFORT TO LAND EDUCATION BLOCK GRANTS IN ECONOMIC STIMULUS PACKAGE - CHANCES OF INCLUSION ARE GOOD, WILL MEAN BILLIONS FOR NYS SCHOOLS TO HELP STAVE OFF SCHOOL PROPERTY TAX INCREASES AND MASSIVE TEACHER LAYOFFS
As President-Elect Barack Obama’s transition team and Congressional leaders craft the massive economic stimulus package, U.S. Senator Charles E. Schumer and Governor David A. Paterson today announced a joint effort to include billions in new education block grants funding as part of the stimulus package to ensure schools in New York and across the country are protected during the economic crisis. Schumer and Paterson are pushing for the creation of a new education block grant program that could send billions in direct education aid to both states and localities to ease pressure on school budgets that are facing massive cuts as the economy tumbles.
“The largest expenditure in our state and local budgets is education and with good reason. If we are really going to do something to help state budgets, we have to do something about education. The bottom line is in the red, and this spells disaster for the education of our students and for our property tax bills,” Schumer said. “That is why Governor Paterson and I are pushing to bring billions to
"No state has been more severely impacted by this crisis than
A flexible education block grant would provide
Schumer and Paterson today discussed different funding mechanisms that may be included in the stimulus package to deliver the money to states and localities, but said that under any of the plans, Schumer and Paterson will push for
There are various approaches that Congress can use to deliver these critical funds to students and schools. U.S. Senate and House Leadership are consulting with the President's team to determine the best, most effective way to provide schools with the targeted resources necessary to maintain jobs and academic programs. Congress is considering using existing federal education funding formulas, such as the one used for Title I, No Child Left Behind funding, to determine the amount each state will receive in block grants. Schumer said it is essential that the block grants are distributed in a way that gives states and districts the flexibility and tools they need to keep serving our children.
In addition, Schumer and Paterson are pushing to ensure that part of the infrastructure portion of the stimulus package goes toward school modernization and construction. Schumer and Paterson said that schools in
Last year, Governor David Paterson released a budget aimed at closing the more than $14 billion state budget deficit that included significant cuts in state education aid. Governor Paterson’s budget assumed no increases in federal aid to states this year.
Schumer said today that the economic stimulus package is expected to pass in early February.
Schumer said that this education funding would dovetail with other aid included in the stimulus package to be used to upgrade transportation, water, and sewer infrastructure and direct state budget aid. Earlier this month, Schumer announced that transit agencies in
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