December 14, 2009

Schumer, Gillibrand, Maffei Announce Final Congressional Passage For $400,000 For Syracuse University’s “Say Yes To Education” Program

Funding Is Part Of House And Senate Omnibus Appropriations Bill Passed By House Last Week And Senate Over The Weekend

Today, U.S. Senators Charles E. Schumer and Kirsten Gillibrand and Congressman Dan Maffei announced that both houses of Congress have passed the FY 2010 Omnibus Appropriations bill which includes $400,000 for Syracuse University to continue its "Say Yes to Education Program" to help underprivileged urban youth overcome barriers to college admission. The funding was included as part of the FY2010 Omnibus Appropriations bill.  The bill passed the House last week and the Senate over the weekend and now awaits the President's signature.

"This funding is critical to the future of thousands of low-income students and families in the Syracuse area," said Schumer. "The Syracuse Say Yes to Education program addresses the major obstacles faced by low-income students by providing them with the support and resources they need to succeed. The program promotes lifelong success for participating students by dramatically increasing both high school and college graduation rates."

"I am so proud that Syracuse will be the first city in the nation to offer a kindergarten-to-high school program promising free college tuition," Senator Gillibrand said. "This spring I saw firsthand the success of the Syracuse Say Yes to Education programs. Where you grow up and how much money you have should not define your potential and opportunity to thrive.  In these trying economic times, our nation and our state cannot afford to lose tomorrow's doctors and scientists and teachers.  Investing in education is one of the most important investments we can make."

Representative Dan Maffei said: "Investing in education, especially during these difficult economic times, must be a priority. I am very pleased that we were able to secure $400,000 for this extremely worthy project. "Say Yes to Education" is as innovative as it is important, and I look forward to seeing the excellent work they produce for our community."

Say Yes to Education, Inc. (Say Yes) is a national, non-profit education foundation committed to dramatically increasing high school and college graduation rates for our nation's inner-city youth.

Formed in 2007 by a unique collaboration between Syracuse University, Say Yes to Education Inc. and the Syracuse City School District, the ‘Say Yes' chapter in Syracuse is one of the nation's most successful. Phase I of the multi-year pilot program began in the 2008-09 academic school year in the Corcoran High School quadrant, which contains six elementary schools. About 1,000 elementary students are involved in the extended day program. 200 SU students volunteer as mentors and tutors. The number of social workers has doubled in the Corcoran quadrant. All students graduating from the SCSD will be guaranteed free tuition at any SUNY and CUNY school, as well as 23 private colleges. Phase II will expand the Say Yes program to the Fowler quadrant and into the Corcoran middle schools in the 2009-10 academic year, thereby adding at least 1500 more students to the program.

The appropriation was originally included in the Senate FY2010 Labor, Health, and Human Services and Education (LHHS) Appropriations Bill. Last week that bill was combined with 5 other appropriations bill into the FY 2010 Omnibus Appropriations bill.  The omnibus bill passed the House last week and the Senate over the weekend.