Stimulus bill to give local schools shot in the arm

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Speaking in front of students and school leaders at North Junior High School in Newburgh Tuesday, Rep. Maurice Hinchey (D) said every classroom in Orange County would benefit from the economic stimulus bill that had been recently passed by the House.

Rep. Hinchey says he and his colleagues in the Congress have set aside millions of dollars in federal aid for local schools. If the bill is approved by the U.S. Senate, $9.2 million would go to Newburgh, $5.3 million to Middletown and $2.2 million to Valley Central.

The biggest portion of funds will go toward renovations and repairs at the schools that will make them more energy efficient.

Newburgh School Superintendent Dr. Annette Saturnelli says the funds are appreciated and will take the burden off taxpayers.

Saturnelli points out, however, that $9.2 million will solve not all her district?s problems.

?It's a small amount relative to what we need,? she says.

The stimulus plan has yet to be voted on in the Senate. If that chamber approves it, the bill will go to President Barack Obama.

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