Press Release

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

Dec 14, 2009

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.”

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