Schools unsure what to do with Education Jobs Bill money

CHENANGO COUNTY – On Tuesday, President Barack Obama signed the Education Jobs and Medicaid Assistance Act, which will provide $26 billion in additional aid to municipalities. Included in the bill is $10 billion to “stem the tide of teacher layoffs,” according to Senator Charles Schumer (D-NY), who supported the legislation.

How will local schools benefit from the $607 million in federal funds coming to New York as a result of the newly enacted education jobs bill? Not even district administrators know for sure.

“Right now we don’t have solid figures,” said Gilbertsville-Mt. Upton Superintendent Glenn Hamilton. The only numbers he and other local districts have received so far are estimates provided by Schumer’s office, prepared with the help of the New York State United Teachers. The state legislature will need to return to Albany – which some say may happen as early as next week – to determine how the funds will be allocated.

State leaders will also need to decide how districts will be able to make use of the funds.

“At this time, we have not been given enough guidance about this money to determine how it can be spent,” reported Afton Superintendent Betty Briggs. “We really need to have the specifics of the bill as soon as possible to know how the money can help our district.”

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