Gov’t shutdown could cost local students once in a lifetime opportunity

VALATIE, N.Y. — For two and a half years, social studies teacher Mrs. Marrata has helped her 8th graders raise money and plan for a 5-day trip to the nation's capital.

“The things we planned to do are special prov. Our congressmen arranged for us,” says Marotta, a teacher at Ichabod Crane Middle School.

Congressmen Chris Gibson has welcomed Marrata's students to the house floor before the capitol opens — an opportunity she says her students may never get again. The trip they planned also includes visiting other national sites.

“Seeing where the president delivers state of union address and seeing kids' faces light up where they are sitting in congress members seats, it's pretty impressive,” says Principal Tim Farley.

But when the government shut down, so did some of those sites.

“We have a plan which is our trip, and plan b in case it's still shut down,” Marotta says.

The 121 8th graders who were excited to see history come alive thought their planning had gone to waste when lawmakers couldn't come to an agreement.

“Their biggest concern is after all this planning excitement and anticipation that they still had the opportunity to go,” Marotta says. “We are going to go to some of the other museums in DC.”

But she knows it won't be the same.

“Unless they run for congress, they'll never have the opportunity to be there have that experience,” she said.

Now Marrata says all they can do is stay optimistic and have a plan b in place.

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