Sources say that the education funding taken out of the stimulus package by the Senate is going to be partially restored. The big question is, will it be enough to keep the city from laying off 15,000 teachers? Mayor Michael Bloomberg never had his prayers answered so quickly. “The mayor was very wise to come down here and lobby,” Sen. Charles Schumer, D-New York, said. “He did a good job. He’s not getting everything that he wanted but he’s getting most of what he wanted.” Schumer was talking about the mayor’s trip to Washington today to seek more stimulus money for education to help him hold off on the threats to lay off thousands of teachers.
“When he said he might have to lay off 15,000 teachers he said the hope is the federal government and for 90 percent of what he wanted. We’ve come through,” Schumer said.
Congress’ deal gives New York City an estimated $1 billion in extra education stabilization funds and up to $750 million to build and fix schools.
In Washington, Bloomberg refused to be pinned down as to how he’ll spend it and whether layoffs will be avoided.
“It’s too early to tell,” Bloomberg said. “We don’t have to come up with a budget and make the decisions about who we can afford to keep and what programs have to be cut back or what we can afford to expand until June.”
Parents and teachers are terrified about what could happen to city schools if the money in the stimulus package doesn’t come through.
“The kids are the future of the city so if you cut teachers and you cut programs you’re not going to have much of a city,” Jon Carin said.
“No matter how much you fight, no matter how much you want for these kids to succeed and try hard and be successful and be decent human beings you’re always getting slapped in the face,” student teacher Christy Cortes added. “What do you do?”
President Barack Hussein Obama wants to sign the stimulus package into law on Monday, Presidents Day.