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Superintendents Travel to Albany to Advocate for Education, End to Gap Elimination Adjustment

Averill Park CSD Superintendent  Dr. James Hoffman was among a group of seven Questar III school superintendents who traveled to Albany on March 10 to advocate for education, including the need to end the Gap Elimination Adjustment (GEA) cuts to school funding in next year’s state budget.

Meeting with Jeffrey Cleary, Director of Governmental Relations, in Sen. Kathleen Marchione’s Office, the group included Cynthia DeDominick (Lansingburgh CSD), Kenneth Facin (Hoosick CSD), Robert Horan (Schodack CSD), Dr. Angelina Maloney (Brunswick CSD), Leslie Whitcomb (New Lebanon CSD) and Dr. Steven Young (Berlin CSD).

“This is a positive group. We want to work with you and help you in any way that we can,” said Superintendent Horan, who chairs Questar III’s Legislative Committee.

Superintendents discussed a range of topics including the need for the state to release more assessments, the impact of charter schools, an initiative that allows science teachers to work with researchers, and changes proposed to the Annual Professional Performance Review requirements.

But superintendents stressed the most important issue for schools is ending the GEA cuts to educational funding, something the State Senate proposes to do in its recent state budget proposal. Mr. Cleary noted that Sen. Marchione agrees with many of their issues, particularly ending the GEA cuts.

The group ended their visit by inviting Sen. Marchione to visit their schools once the state budget was finalized to see the great things students are learning.

"We are glad that Senator Marchione and her staff understand the financial stress districts face, as well as the hurdles we face in implementation of standards, assessments, and teacher evaluation," said Dr. Hoffman. "Her support is critical to helping schools in this area meet our communitys' expectations."

Posted March 12, 2015

Superintendent Calls on Governor to Release State Aid Runs; NYSCOSS Provides Tool for Community Members to Help

Education leaders and groups are calling on Gov. Andrew Cuomo to release the proposed state aid runs for the 2015-16 fiscal year that are necessary to school districts as they look to develop their school budgets for next year. Averill Park Schools Superintendent Dr. James Hoffman sent a letter to the Governor requesting he release the state aid runs that have historically been issued by now.

Read Dr. Hoffman's letter 

In addition, we are sharing a tool (widget) the New York State Council of School Superintendents has provided so board members, teachers, and community members who wish to send a note to their legislators and the Governor calling for release of the aid formula and runs can do so. CLICK HERE

Posted Feb. 9, 2015

Gap Elimination Adjustment (GEA)

Since it was first introduced in 2010-11 as a "one time" approach to balancing the state budget, the Gap Elimination Adjustment (GEA) has deducted more than $9 billion in state aid from schools throughout New York over the last five years. The GEA has been devastating to the children of the Averill Park Central School District resulting in cuts to both staff and programs and that have continued to erode the educational opportunities of our children.

In January 2015, Assemblywoman Carrie Woerner (D-Round Lake) and Senator Patrick Gallivan (R-Elma) introduced bi-partisan legislation (Assembly Bill A.2271 and Senate Bill S.2743) that would result in an immediate end to the Gap Elimination Adjustment (GEA) in 2015-16 and thereafter provide school districts with the full amount of state aid they are legally allowed to receive. If these bills become law, the $1 billion remaining in GEA that would have been withheld will be fully restored to state aid this year. 

Our local elected officials Assemblymen Steve McLaughlin and John McDonald and Senator Kathy Marchione have already signed on as co-sponors of this important legislation to end the GEA and we appreciate their support. Please consider contacting them via their contact information below to thank them for supporting the proposed legislation to end the GEA. As a district, we are asking our residents to contact our other elected officials to urge them to become co-sponsors of the bills (Assembly Bill A.2271 and Senate Bill S.2743) and to work for the passage of the legislation in their house. It could be as simple as an email stating "I am a resident in the Averill Park Central School District and I am asking you to help end the GEA once and for all." 

In the Averill Park Central School District, residents are encouraged to contact:

Assemblymember John McDonald

LOB 417
Albany, NY 12248


Assemblyman Steven McLaughlin
LOB 533
Albany, NY 12248
Twitter: www.twitter/SteveMcNY

Senator Kathleen Marchione
LOB 306
Albany, NY 12247
Twitter: www.twitter/kathymarchione

Governor Andrew Cuomo
NYS State Capitol Building
Albany, NY 12224
E-mail (form page):

Chair of the NYS Assembly Education Committee Assemblywoman Catherine Nolan
Legislative Office Building
Room 836
Albany, NY 12248
(518) 455-4851

Chair of the NYS Senate Education Committee Senator John J. Flanagan
Legislative Office Building
Room 805
Albany, NY 12247
(518) 455-2071


Assembly Speaker
Assemblyman Carl Heastie

Legislative Office Building,
Room 932
Albany, NY 12248
(518) 455-4800


Majority Coalition Co-Leader

Legislative Office Building
Room 909
Albany, NY 12247
(518) 455-3171




Advocacy Resources

Quick Facts about the Averill Park School District (pdf)

Advocacy Materials

What is the Gap Elimination Adjustment? - Three-minute video explaining Gap Elimination Adjustment school aid cuts