More than 1,000 people, including a team from Averill Park, packed into Colonie Central High School on January 30 to hear students, teachers and school district leaders talk about the financial challenges facing public education. During the event, “NY Schools STILL in Fiscal Peril: Our Kids Can’t Wait Another Year,” the panel's discussion centered on Gap Elimination Adjustment (GEA) cuts but touched on ways schools are affected as their budgets are annually slashed.

In the last four state budgets, the 47 districts joining forces on January 30—representing more than 112,000 students in seven counties— have lost more than $387 million in promised aid due to the GEA.

Averill Park alone has seen a loss of $13.56 million in state aid withheld through the GEA in that time.

To learn more about how you can Advocate for YOUR Schools click on the link.

Miss the event? Watch a recording online at http://breeze.neric.org/p8jbqcsn6q8/.

You can also watch the video "Our kids can't wait another year" that was unveiled at the event here:
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=wg3WND4oE8U&safe=active

 

Read/view the media coverage:

 

Posted Jan.31, 2014

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Averill Park will be among stakeholders representing 47 school districts at the massive “New York schools STILL in fiscal peril: Our kids can’t wait another year,” event at Colonie Central High School on Thursday, January 30 at 6:30 p.m. to continue the unprecedented regional call to action on the fiscal crisis facing public schools that began last year.

The program will feature a panel of school board members, including Averill Park Board of Education President Chris Foster, superintendents and teachers who will provide first-hand insight on the state of public education in New York. Attendees will also receive information on how they can advocate for their schools by contacting their elected officials to share their concerns about public education.

The Gap Elimination Adjustment (GEA) is our key topic and attendees will hear how the GEA has affected local districts in the form of programs and services that have been eliminated. Click on the following links for a short video that explains the GEA or to see an interactive map:

 Gap Elimination Video
 Gap Elimination Google Map

See the event agenda below. 

Updated Jan. 29, 2014

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Join our Advocacy Team for Jan. 30 Forum on School Funding Crisis -- Let Us Know You'll Join Us!

We still need you! The event, “New York schools STILL in fiscal peril: Our kids can’t wait another year,” will be held on Thursday, January 30 at 6:30 p.m. at Colonie Central High School. Please call or email Linda Primeau in the Superintendent's Office by THIS Friday to let us know you'll be joining us! Email her at or call 674-7066. 

Updated Jan. 22, 2014

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STILL in Fiscal Peril: Region's Schools to Hold January 30 Forum on School Funding Crisis

On January 30, stakeholders from 47 districts throughout the region will gather in an unprecedented regional call to action on the fiscal crisis facing public schools. The event, “New York schools STILL in fiscal peril: Our kids can’t wait another year,” follows up on last year’s massive regional advocacy effort in which several Averill Park parents, students, educators and board members attended. Once again, a broad coalition of students, parents, teachers, taxpayers, legislators and school leaders will come together to talk about what is at stake if state leaders do not eliminate the Gap Elimination Adjustment (GEA) and provide adequate and equitable funding for our schools.

The goal of “New York schools STILL in fiscal peril” is to inform public school stakeholders about the state of the crisis and how it equates to lost opportunities for students, and to catalyze grassroots advocacy at the start of the 2014 state legislative session, which is a critical time for voices to be heard.

The Thursday, January 30 program will be held at 6:30 p.m. at Colonie Central High School in the South Colonie Central School District (Albany County). The snow date is February 3, 2014. Community members are invited to attend.

The program will feature a panel of school board members, including Averill Park Board of Education President Chris Foster, superintendents and teachers who will provide first-hand insight on the state of public education in New York. Attendees will also receive information on how they can advocate for their schools by contacting their elected officials to share their concerns about public education.

As with last year’s “Your Public Schools in Fiscal Peril – Running Out of Time and Options” event, the primary focus of the advocacy campaign is to end the Gap Elimination Adjustment, or GEA – the state policy of withholding promised state aid from district to meet its fiscal challenges and other budget priorities. In the last four state budgets, the 47 districts joining forces on January 30—representing more than 112,000 students in seven counties— have lost more than $387 million in promised aid due to the GEA.

Averill Park alone has seen a loss of $13.56 million in state aid withheld through the GEA in that time.

“Our district has already begun to develop the school district budget for 2014-15,” said Superintendent James D. Hoffman. “We continue to face a situation where our costs are increasing at a faster pace than our revenue can supplement, due to the property tax cap and decreased state aid to Averill Park not being able to keep pace with rising costs in many areas.”

“An entire generation of children will have compromised educational opportunities unless there is swift and significant change in the way New York State supports public education,” Hoffman added. “We need your help to deliver this message to state leaders!”

The forum is being coordinated by the Superintendent's Legislative Committee of Capital Region and Questar III BOCES on behalf of the students, families, and community members in the 47 districts that make up the two BOCES regions.

 

 

View the district's Advocacy page for more information and resources.


Posted January 8, 2014