January 13, 2009

A stimulus for schools? Schumer, Paterson unveil plan

Source: NYSUT News Wire

The Times Union (Albany) reports on Monday's joint press conference at the State Capitol with Sen. Charles Schumer and Gov. David Paterson, and the announcement of a proposed federal stimulus package for education.

A stimulus for schools?

Schumer unveils plan to allocate federal bailout cash to local districts
 
By RICK KARLIN, Capitol bureau
First published in print: Tuesday, January 13, 2009

ALBANY - In the past few months, the federal government has engineered massive bailouts of distressed economic institutions from Wall Street to the Big Three automakers.

But for the upcoming stimulus package, politicians want to shore up local governments - from counties beset by Medicaid costs to local school districts forced to deal with cuts to state funding.

"There's a very strong likelihood that (school aid) will be included in the package," U.S. Sen. Charles Schumer (D-N.Y.) said Monday as he unveiled a plan - being pushed by several governors as well as members of Congress - to allocate stimulus money to local school systems.

If approved as part of President-elect Barack Obama's $750 billion package, New York could get an extra $6.4 billion in local school aid over the next two years.

"It's going to put less stress on the local school districts," said Gov. David Paterson, who joined Schumer for a news conference at the state Capitol.

Addressing opposing voices, NYSUT President Dick Iannuzzi is also quoted.

"The critics are off base," responded Richard Iannuzzi, president of New York State United Teachers. He said the plan was supported by business leaders around the state who understand that schools are training future members of New York's workforce.

Schumer also said the school money could stave off layoffs of teachers and other school employees.

The complete article is available online at http://timesunion.com/AspStories/story.asp?storyID=759393 .