Gov. Andrew Cuomo continued the Gap Elimination Adjustment (GEA) cuts to school aid funding for a fifth straight year in his executive budget he presented on Jan. 21. His proposal calls for an increase of $807 million or 3.8 percent for New York State schools. 

While Averill Park would see a 2.12 percent increase in state aid in 2014-15 under the governor’s plan, the district would lose $2.67 million due to the GEA in 2014-15. This, added to the $13.56 million that has already been withheld to Averill Park through the GEA, would bring the overall GEA loss to $16.26 million since the policy went into effect in 2010-11.

While Gov. Cuomo claims he increases school aid funding each year, he continues the GEA cuts which were started in 2010 by Gov. David Paterson as a way for the state government to close its budget deficit. The GEA was intended as a one-year cut to school aid and is now going into its fifth year. Despite New York’s anticipated surplus, the governor’s proposal calls for only a partial restoration ($323 million) of funds withheld from districts through the GEA next school year. The partial GEA restoration for Averill Park is $267,064.

The district encourages the parents, students and community members to continue the momentum building throughout the region to end the GEA. Averill Park is one of 47 districts taking part in a regional education advocacy effort on Thursday, Jan. 30 at Colonie Central High School.The event, “New York schools STILL in fiscal peril: Our kids can’t wait another year,” picks up where last year’s massive regional advocacy effort left off.It promises to again bring students, parents, teachers, taxpayers, legislators and school leaders together to talk about what is at stake if state leaders do not eliminate the Gap Elimination Adjustment and provide adequate and equitable funding for our schools. Click here to learn more about the event.



Posted January 23, 2014