February 10, 2009

Urge Congress to restore funding (Update: House and Senate reach agreement)

Source: NYSUT News Wire

UPDATE 2/11: Final agreement reached on federal stimulus package. The conference committee working out the differences between House and Senate versions of the President's financial stimulus package has reached agreement. Official votes are expected in both houses before the end of the week.


Right now in Washington, Congress is moving forward on a federal stimulus bill that's essential to our schools, colleges and New York state's economy.

A conference committee is working this week to hammer out differences between a House and Senate version of the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act. We expect the conference to move quickly and a final bill to be back on the House and Senate floors possibly by the end of week. The bill will then go to President Obama for his signature.

That's why we need you to act now to contact your representatives in Congress and urge them to provide as much funding for education as possible in the final economic recovery bill, including school modernization and state fiscal relief. Tell them to support funding levels closer to the House-passed version. The Senate version cut $40 billion from the state stabilization fund, intended to close state gaps in education and other services. New York would stand to lose $2.6 billion over two years in this category. The Senate version also wipes out school modernization grants and cuts $3.5 billion for higher education facility modernization.

New York state desperately needs this federal relief to close the budget gaps for our public schools and colleges. Without full funding, there will be deep cuts in student programs, layoffs of teachers and staff, loss of college access for thousands of qualified students, swelling job losses in the private sector, and an even heavier burden for local taxpayers.

Pass It On!

Use the "SHARE" button on this page to pass this urgent message on to friends, family and colleagues via e-mail, Facebook, Twitter and other social networking tools. Urge them to tell their representatives in Congress to restore education funding in the federal stimulus package.