Paterson restores cuts to education funding

Gov. David Paterson visited a school in Rockland County Tuesday, where he announced the restoration of education funds to the region.

With students from Congers Elementary School standing behind him, the governor said $1.2 billion in federal stimulus money and other resources will go directly to local schools.

"Today I'm announcing that all cuts to education in New York State are restored by the stimulus package as passed in the 2009/2010 budget," he said.

Rockland County will go from a 6.9 percent cut to a 5.4 percent increase in resources this year. In Westchester County, a 5.1 percent cut will turn into a 5.7 percent increase in aid.

Some school superintendents said while the restoration of proposed cuts is a good sign, it cannot be equated to an increase in aid. However, members of the Yonkers PTA said they are optimistic.

"I'm hoping that we will not have the layoffs that were expected, and it sounds like a very positive step forward," said Yonkers PTA President Kelly Chiarella. "I'm glad that we didn't balance the budget on the backs of our children."

During his visit, Paterson also reminded that nearly 9,000 state workers are likely to be laid off as of July 1 following the unions' refusal to make contract concessions.

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