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Parent Advocacy News

 

Education Reform Night 2016

 

  

The NYS Gap Elimination Adjustment (GEA) has reduced the state's financial obligations to local public schools in order to close the state's budget deficit. This annual cutback is detrimental to the quality of public education. Over the past four years, the GEA has reduced state aid to area school districts by 16% on average, and the GEA reduction has totaled more than $8.9 Billion statewide. The North Salem Central School District alone has lost $1,655,566 in GEA to help the state fill its budget deficit. Well, that deficit is now a surplus. We need to work together to Eliminate the GEA and Restore our School Aid!

 

 

What Can You Do?

It’s time to contact our legislators and tell them that the state needs to restore financial aid that has been taken from school districts every year since the 2009-2010 school year. Feel free to use this sample letter  - or create your own.  




Sample Legislative Advocacy Letter

 

Name: 

Address:

 

(insert header State Legislators: Eliminate the GEA & Restore Our School Aid)

Dear ______________,

As a voter, taxpayer and resident of the North Salem Central School District, I urge you to join the fight to repeal the Gap Elimination Adjustment (GEA). Formerly called the Deficit Reduction Assessment, its sole purpose is to dramatically reduce the state’s financial obligations to our local public schools in order to close the state’s own budget deficit. This annual cutback is detrimental to the quality of public education in our region and is not acceptable to the local taxpayers who must bear the burden. Now is the time to work together to eliminate the GEA and recoup the state education funding owed to our children.

The success of our public schools in Westchester and Putnam Counties is well-known and a great economic driver of our region. But over the past four years, the GEA has reduced state aid to these school districts by 16% on average, and the GEA reduction has totaled more than half a billion dollars for districts in the Lower Hudson Region (Putnam, Westchester, Rockland and Dutchess Counties). North Salem alone has lost $1,655,566 in GEA to help the state fill its revenue shortfalls. Continued state aid loss due to GEA reductions will continue to erode the quality of education school districts can provide. The State can not continue to pass along its revenue “shortfalls” to local school districts, especially since the state budget now has a surplus.

We have passed the point where we can do more with less. The GEA, combined with a major state aid reduction from which we have not recovered, insufficient mandate relief and the property levy cap, has created irreversible financial consequences. Our schools are at a crossroads. Restoring GEA funds is a key step towards ending unacceptable state practices that chisel away at school funding, and will ultimately erode the quality of the education system that our children need and deserve and that we as taxpayers expect.
We can no longer bear the burden imposed on local taxpayers by the GEA. I am asking you, as our elected representative, to be our voice in Albany and take effective action. Now is the time to work together to Eliminate the GEA and Restore our School Aid!
Sincerely, Insert Your Name

A Concerned Resident of the North Salem Central School District



The Honorable David Buckwald
125-131 East Main Street
Mt. Kisco, NY  10549
BuckwaldD@assembly.state.ny.us

The Honorable Greg Ball
1441 Route 22, Suite 205
Brewster, NY  10509
gball@nysenate.gov

Commissionor John King
NYSED, 89 Washington Avenue
Albany, NY  12234
jking@mail.nysed.gov

Regent Harry Phillips, III
71 Hawthorne Way
Hartsdale, NY  10530

Chancellor Merryl Tisch
NYSED, 89 Washington Avenue
Albany, NY  12234

Senator John Flanagan
Legislative Office Building, Room 805
Albany, NY  12247
Flanagan@senate.state.ny.us

Assemblywoman Catherine Nolan
Legislative Office Building, Room 836
Albany, NY  12248
nolanc@assembly.state.ny.us

The Honorable Andrew Cuomo
NY State Capital Building
Albany, NY  12224
Governor.Cuomo@nygovoffice.gov

 

 

Chase University River Central School District