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  • Opening Remarks: Education as the Central Issue to Economic Recovery

    I have the responsibility tonight, or the challenge, of using a few moments to offer some tidbits of information from my perspective as it relates not only to the Twenty-First Congressional District, but to New York and, for that matter, the nation with regards to education policy. Although tonight and tomorrow many of the participants in this symposium will discuss the issue of quality education, I would like to focus my remarks on how I see education as the epicenter issue when it comes to economic recovery and economic development. There is no doubt that we bottomed out economically in 2009 with the recession. Through the leadership of President Obama, however, and the response of this Congress, we have been able to stop the bleeding. Now, the awesome challenge to this presidential administration, and to all of us in Congress, is to grow employment and to recover from the devastation of 8.2 million jobs lost and 18.2 trillion dollars lost to household incomes during the last eighteen months of the Bush Presidency. President Obama started in a very deep, dark hole, and part of the recovery will be to develop a sound education policy.