NY Provides $200 Back-to-School Grants for Low-Income Families

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school-desksNew York State is providing $200 back-to-school grants for more than 800,000 children in low-income families through the use of $140 million in federal stimulus money and a $35 million grant from billionaire George Soros. State officials and Soros made the announcement today in Manhattan, saying Soros’ gift allows the state to access $140 million in a four-to-one matching grant program through the federal stimulus package. The goal is to have needy families use the money to buy back-to-school supplies for their families.

“This first-of-its-kind partnership in New York is an example of how the public and private sectors can work together to foster a brighter future for the low-income families of our State,” Gov. David Paterson said in a statement.

Critics have questioned how the use of stimulus money for the program will help the economy. Also, the $200 will be deposited into the state-issued debit cards used by families who receive public assistance and food stamps. So there doesn’t appear to be any requirement that the money be used solely for children’s back-to-school supplies.

“It should be done on a programmatic basis where you have accountability and you know how it is being spent,” said Rockland County Executive Scott Vanderhoef, a Republican.

Families who receive public assistance or food stamps are eligible for the one-time $200 bonus if they have school-aged children between ages 3 and 17.

Soros, a global financier and political activist, donated the money through his Open Society Institute.

“I hope these funds will relieve some of the financial burden on New York’s families so their children can start the school year off with a measure of optimism and hope for the future,” he said in a statement.

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  1. > “So there doesn’t appear to be any requirement that the money be used solely for children’s back-to-school supplies.”

    >> I am recently retired from the NYC public school system. I can tell you that what you find in the average 7th grader’s “book” bag is (1) an mp3 player, (2) a cell phone, (3) a bottle of soda and a bag of chips. NO BOOKS!

    Do you know how many times a day I heard: “Well, if you don’t give me a piece of paper don’t blame me if I don’t do your work.” If you hand the kid a sheet of loose leaf paper, it will be doodled upon a found crumpled on the floor when class is over.

    $200.00? Expect thousands of new pairs of high-end sneakers on opening day. Sorry to sound so cynical but it’s the sad truth.

  2. They already did on Augst 17, 2010 the funds were released-and it has been increased to $350 per childexcept Buffalo NY were it was increased to $475.00 per child

  3. If this is true, then I have 3 kids 3 about to be in preschool plus he needs stuff for afterchool, a 5 year old who needs uniforms for public school and supplies as well, a 13 yr. old who needs school supplies, sneakers and art supplies. I am a food stamp recipient and I have not seen anything yet. I got the bonus last year and it helped a great deal. A great deal. I used anything extra to buy extra supplies for that year in case anything needed to be replaced. Things are getting expensive. Where is my bonus for this year???? I need it. God help me if I don’t.

  4. I am busting my but trying to pay rent on time and pay bills. There are so many. And the job market isn’t exactly great this time of year. What am I going to do?

  5. Are they going to give the spree or not i heard ppl saying they going to give it and some that says they did i don’t understand.

  6. Listen I really do need the money. I have 2 kids that are starting school soon. And it well really help. I hate those people that took the money and did something else with it. I think that that was wrong. It makes it bad for use that really needs it. So I don’t understand are they or are they not. Can some please just answer the question. Cause I have not got nothing yet and my kids well start the 8 of September. Please let me know

  7. No one messed anything up for any one! It was a one time thing. Make other plans people. Stop wasting energy.. It was a nice think to do but it is not goingbon this year! Best of luck to everyone! Stay positive.

  8. @ kiko yes they did mess it up for everyone because you have the parents who want to look cute all the time and have their kids looking homeless then you have the crackheads so come on i work but i get foodstamps and i work hard to take care of my kids, then when they give something people act like wild beast and make it bad for everyone like they say, when one person mess up they mess it up for all. So to get to what i came up here for they are giving it this year but of course beastie people half to act like what are beast they closed the building down because they just bum rushed the place so now they gave out phone numbers for you to call but when i call its either busy or when it ring know one picks up. so to answer your question yes they are doing it this year just go to your local office, and to the people that always got to show out just put that showing out on the back burning until you get the money for you kids and thats who it is for the “KIDS”!!!

  9. Hi again I forgot to give you all the #’S (347)529-0394 or (347)442-5634 Good luck and best wishes to you all even you kiko.

  10. I understand everyone but I must say that people can’t blame it on others cause how could the gov not give it again when they didn’t ask for proof like receipts… So how would they know how to people spent the money anyways, and also I personally had the money the all to myself because I went school shopping early so I wouldn’t have to worry about it at the end of august so that was like a reinburstment for me and probably for a whole a lot of other people who did the same

  11. They are not giving it this year!!!!!….No one messed it up, its a one time deal so please wishing for it and do for ur kids with what you have. Yall knew school was coming when they got for the summmer!!!!

  12. Here is a thought how about you add all the children who are registered in each district and have the administrators order in buld what they need then NYS can reimburse so parents can all receive the help they need. The school gets what the kids need and there is no ??? as to where the money goes. As far as low income or no income there are plenty out there including myself who dont qualify for assistance but cannot afford the 100.00 calculator that my child needs for the excellerated math class she is in. Thank you NY for helping ALL of us out !!!!!!!!

  13. if they are going to give or not they should tell ppl by now because school starts in a week and the supplies get longer every year for these kids the only thing i thank god is that public school’s are demanding kids to where uniforms if not we all be really broke but plz let us know

  14. i’m with u jokesta , i have to girls who will be in 3rd grade….their lista are really long and we have no money comin in …..we could really use that money it would help alot ..my sis in law has three kids in school and also could use that money they should have let us all know ahead of time so we could find other ways of gettin school supplies …….wishin u all the very best of luck this year!!

  15. I just heard from the grape vine that they are giving it out again but you have to call for it. A fiend of mines sister called and received it in four weeks. I came as a check not on the card. I called….Let’s see what happens.

  16. I called the #posted here back in December. They asked for my kids SS# and until now I haven’t received anything. Now the # listed here is out if service. I’m worried that its some type of fraud

  17. I wanted to know is NYS doing this year for help kids need back to school in 2011 …. yes or no I need to know kids need supplies and clothes for back to school .


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