Westchester schools to benefit from stimulus package

Westchester schools to benefit from stimulus package

Westchester school districts are expected to receive $82 million if President Barack Obama?s $819 billion stimulus package, which was passed by the House Wednesday, is approved by the Senate.
A large portion of the federal aid will be given to cities like Yonkers, where many students fall below the state averages. Yonkers, which has the largest school district in the county, could get as much as $25 million.
However, Yonkers School Superintendent Bernard Pierorazio says the rescue package will not be enough to close the district?s $49 million budget gap.
?Will it resolve our financial crisis for next year?? Pierorazio asks. ?No.?
In Mount Vernon, School Superintendent Tony Sawyer views the expected $8 million allocation as a major boon. Sawyer adds that the stimulus will allow the district to keep school property tax costs down.
?We want the taxpayer to help us, help their children,? he says. ?That means we have to help the taxpayer as well.?
White Plains School Superintendent Tim Conners agrees that the nearly $4 million promised to his district will provide a much needed boost to education, but he says it is time for Washington lawmakers to go one step further.
?If they could just bring that up to 50 percent of what they promise, it would be nice,? he says. ?I think it?s great that they're talking about it.?
If the bill passes the Senate vote, the president hopes to sign it into law in February so that the money could be distributed in March.