12 January 2009

NYS in line for $6B in education funds

January 12, 2009 3:41 PM

NYS in line for $6B in education funds

Sen. Charles Schumer and Gov. David Paterson say the money is coming from the federal economic stimulus bill.

Matthew Sollars
Photograher: A. Golden, eyewash design, c. 2008.

Sen. Charles Schumer (D-N.Y.) and Gov. David Paterson on Monday said New York could receive about $6 billion for education from an economic stimulus bill that President-elect Barack Obama is making his first order of business after taking office next week.

Out of a possible $800 billion stimulus package, Mr. Schumer said there is a “very strong likelihood” that it will include $80 billion in education grants for states. That will put New York in line to receive between $5 billion and $7 billion, depending on the formula used to distribute money.

“This isn’t going to solve the education funding problems in the state,” Mr. Schumer said Monday, during an Albany press conference. “But this should alleviate the severity of the crisis, and it’s a shot in the arm that the states need.”

In his budget proposal released last month, Mr. Paterson called for roughly $2 billion in education cuts. He said he would not be willing to back down from those cuts, even if the federal money arrives.

“We have got to learn that our spending cannot exceed our revenues,” Mr. Paterson said. “Even with the addition of resources from the federal government, what we are going to have to do is change the culture of spending in the state.”

Instead, the governor said he would look to eliminate more than $2 billion in new taxes and fees he had proposed to help close a projected $10.5 billion budget gap.

Mr. Schumer said that C, was making “great progress” toward the meeting a self-imposed deadline of Feb. 13 for finishing the stimulus bill, before adjourning for the President’s Day holiday.


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