ALBANY, N.Y. January 14, 2009 - New York State United Teachers praised U.S. Sen. Charles Schumer for his proposal to secure additional federal education aid, saying directing stimulus money to classrooms would help schools avoid devastating cuts, reduce property taxes and fuel the state's economic recovery.
NYSUT President Richard C. Iannuzzi said Schumer's proposed new education block grant program, which would direct additional federal money to school districts throughout the state, is a vitally important component of the stimulus package that President-elect Barack Obama and Congress are putting together.
"Senator Schumer is to be applauded for working to ensure that New York students are not the victims of this budget crisis, and for recognizing that schools can be part of the solution," Iannuzzi said. "Additional federal funding for New York, in the form of block grants that would go directly to education, would enable us to avoid devastating cuts to services for children and protect homeowners against large property tax increases."
NYSUT Executive Vice President Alan B. Lubin noted that Schumer, U.S. Rep. Charles Rangel and others in New York's congressional delegation have been working to bring leaders from New York's education, business and labor communities together in support of additional federal money for education and job training.
"Our leaders in Washington clearly understand that revitalizing New York's economy, particularly upstate, hinges on continuing to invest in education and job training," Lubin said. "Lining up the state's business, labor and education communities behind one plan to strengthen our schools and colleges is a wise move."
Lubin added, "We need all the state's leaders to be on the same page, united in declaring that this investment of federal money in education would relieve pressure on school budgets, save middle class jobs and reduce property taxes."
NYSUT, the state's largest union, represents more than 600,000 classroom teachers and other school employees; faculty and other professionals at the state's community colleges, State University of New York and City University of New York, and other education and health professionals. NYSUT is affiliated with the American Federation of Teachers, National Education Association and AFL-CIO.