What is the Gap Elimination Adjustment?
If you’re reading and hearing about school funding issues in New York State, it’s likely you’ve heard the phrase “Gap Elimination Adjustment” or GEA, which is just one part of a complex fiscal puzzle affecting our school budgets. Please read on to learn more and view the accompanying video for an explanation.
Q: What is the Gap Elimination Adjustment (GEA)?
A: The Gap Elimination Adjustment (GEA) law was first introduced for the 2010-2011 fiscal year as a way to help close New York’s then $10 billion budget deficit. Under the legislation, a portion of the funding shortfall at the state level is divided among all school districts throughout the state and reflected as a reduction in school district state aid. GEA is money that is deducted from state aid originally promised to school districts based on state aid formulas. Essentially, it’s a "take-back" by the state of aid originally due to school districts.
Q: How does GEA affect our schools?
A: Many schools throughout the state have gaping holes in their budgets due to the GEA. Since the take-back went into effect, Averill Park has lost more than $13.56 million in aid under GEA legislation and is projected to lose another $2.67 million in 2014-15. On a state level, schools have lost more than $6.1 billion in aid. This translates into more than $2,200 per student.
Q: How can I get more information?
A: Visit EducationSpeaks.org for information on advocating for restoration of school aid.