May 10, 2002
Press Release
WASHINGTON: The House Appropriations Committee failed last night to help New York's school system recover costs related to 9/11. This while, FEMA has so far denied the vast majority of funds the Board of Education needs related to the costs of 9/11, including the costs of make-up school days and mental health related expenses.
Rep. John Sweeney (R-NY), a member of the Appropriations Committee from upstate New York, offered an amendment to the annual supplemental appropriations bill authorizing funds for the New York City Board of Education to cover its outstanding costs from 9/11.

"Sadly, a majority on the appropriations committee voted against this important amendment, neglecting the needs of New York's school children in the wake of 9/11," said Maloney. " While the committee is making substantial funds available for New York's recovery in this bill, they need to do it in a way that insures it gets to those who need it."

The amendment was similar to legislation introduced earlier by Sweeney and Rep. Carolyn Maloney (D-NY) that directs funds to the New York Board of Education for make-up school days and additional health care costs related to 9/11 (HR 4663).

Thus far, FEMA has denied requests to help the school system for these expenses, saying in some cases that it may not have statutory authority and in other cases that the Board of Education has not requested funding. In response to the latter accusation, Tony Shorris, Deputy Chancellor of the Board of Ed., wrote to Reps. Sweeney and Maloney detailing transmission of a request to FEMA and public statements from FEMA denying the Board's claim. Still, Chancellor Harold O. Levy wrote personally to FEMA Director Joe Allbaugh immediately, outlining the Board's remaining costs and losses related to 9/11. The Shorris letter can be viewed at and the Levy letter can be viewed at

"FEMA was wrong to let red tape get in the way of 9/11 aid to New York's school kids and it's sad that we're not getting the federal response that New York City school kids deserve," said Maloney. "I want to thank Congressman Sweeney for his efforts to help New York's school kids. I'm hopeful that the President will direct FEMA to get this 9/11 aid to New York schools immediately and that the Senate will include these funds in its version of supplemental appropriations bill."

The Sweeney, Maloney legislation, HR 4663, is co-sponsored by Reps. Nadler, Towns, Serrano, Crowley, Rangel, Engel, and Meeks. The bill can be viewed at 

Senators Schumer and Clinton have introduced companion legislation in the Senate.