Media Release: NYSUT applauds passage of jobs bills; calls on Albany to act swiftly
New York State United Teachers today applauded passage of a $10 billion federal education jobs bill that could save 8,200 education jobs in New York schools, and provide $608 million in education funding for New York state. President Obama signed the bill into law shortly after its passage in the U.S. House of Representatives on Tuesday. The Senate approved the measure last week.
"These federal funds will ensure that more of the education professionals our students depend on will be available to help them succeed," said NYSUT President Richard C. Iannuzzi.
"Now that our federal lawmakers have given New York state the means to alleviate some of the pain caused by this budget year’s cuts, we’re calling on Gov. Paterson and state lawmakers to work quickly to do what they know is right - vote to expend this federal funding in support of education in New York state,” added NYSUT Executive Vice President Andrew Pallotta. "We also urge lawmakers to fund the state's 130 teacher centers and override the governor's vetoes to provide additional resources to schools and community colleges. Our students can’t afford further delay."
House leaders today passed the Education Jobs bill by a vote of 247 to 161, with most Republicans voting no.
President Obama signed the bill later the same day.
New York is expected to net $608 million in funding - aid that by some estimates could save the jobs of as many as 8,200 educators slated for layoff this fall. NYSUT leaders are urging state lawmakers return to Albany and vote to expend the new federal funding. The union is also urging lawmakers to use the additional aid to restore funding to the state's network of teacher centers.
While the aid could restore thousands of education jobs, the final tally of jobs saved will depend on schools using the funds to prevent layoffs.
Reps. Peter King (R-Long Island) and Chris Lee (R-Clarence), were the only members of the New York delegation to vote against the bill.
The education jobs bill passed the U.S. Senate Thursday by a vote of 61-39. The House is expected to vote on the legislation next week.
Education advocates are depending on the U.S. Senate to ease the pain of a grim final state budget that calls for $1.4 billion in education cuts.
NYSUT applauded the U.S. Senate majority and the leadership of New York's Senators Chuck Schumer and Kirsten Gillibrand for a successful procedural vote this morning that will clear the way for passage of two key bills: the Education Jobs Fund and the Federal Medicaid Assistance Program, or FMAP.
The jobs bill would provide New York about $620 million and save the jobs of an estimated 7,100 educators slated for layoff this fall. After the $1 billion in FMAP funding for New York is approved, we would also be able to stave off a potential $300 million to $400 million in mid-year education cuts that otherwise would have occurred.
All indications are that the House of Representatives will return from recess to take up this bill and that President Obama will sign it. It will then depend on the state Legislature to return to Albany and vote to expend the funding.