Vital Legislation to Access Federal Education Funds

Suzi Oppenheimer

August 12, 2009

Senator Suzi Oppenheimer (D-Mamaroneck) sponsored key legislation to update state statutes in order to qualify for over $2.4 billion in federal education funding.  The Senator is pleased to announce that these measures were recently signed into law by Governor Paterson. 

S. 5884 ensures state law conformance with the requirements of the federal Individuals with Disabilities Education Improvement Act (IDEA).  Non-compliance with these requirements could have caused both the state and local school districts to lose nearly $700 million in federal funding under IDEA and would have jeopardized the provision of vital services to students with disabilities.

S. 5638, similarly, ensures state law compliance with provisions of the federal No Child Left Behind Act (NCLB).  Enactment of this legislation was necessary to preserve New York’s eligibility for federal education funding under NCLB, which totals approximately $1.76 billion annually.  

“A continuation of federal funding is absolutely essential to local school districts, which have struggled to maintain programs and staffing during the current economic downturn,” said Senator Oppenheimer.  “These bills will bring much needed dollars for education, while helping to reduce the burden on local property taxpayers.”