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.

View the Gap Elimination Adjustment video