Local schools to benefit from stimulus package

With Upstate New York school districts facing historic budget deficits as the national economy continues to decline, U.S. Senator Charles E. Schumer announced last week the school district by school district breakdown of the nearly $1.7 billion in direct education funding New York schools will receive from the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act. Schumer said that the Obama economic recovery package will send $4.7 billion in additional education and other aid to New York State schools. New York schools will directly receive $1.7 billion in additional funding. The remainder of the aid will go into an education stabilization fund for the state to restore state cuts to education.

Schumer said this funding will restore nearly all of New York's education cuts this year, while boosting local school districts with funds they need as they face historic budget gaps. This comes in the wake of Governor David Paterson's proposed state aid cuts for schools, announced in December. Oneida City Schools will receive $861,961 from the stimulus after the proposed $1,054,612 or 5.29 percent reduction in state aid for the district. Vernon Verona Sherrill will receive $677,332 after looking to lose $878,124 or 5.19 percent from the state.

Faring the best in the area is Stockbridge Valley Central Schools. The district, under the governor's proposed budget was only projected to lost .49 percent or $29,238. The school will receive five times that from the federal stimulus or $160,757.

The state numbers have not been finalized yet, so districts will not know where they state with state funding until the budget is passed in Albany. The budget deadline for the state is April 1 and school boards must put their budget up for vote on May 19.

"The stimulus package will be a big boost to Upstate New York schools, students and taxpayers. We could not afford to risk the quality of education New York students receive by laying off teachers and slashing academic programs. This funding will make sure New York schools have the resources they need to continue to make the grade," Schumer said.

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