K&J – Removing the Funding Gap (Elimination Adjustment)

Governor Cuomo’s Adirondack Winter Challenge brings notoriety to the North Country and on Sunday, as legislators from the southern parts of New York State Arrived at the Lake Placid Convention Center, another group was there to greet them.. Teachers…

When it comes to the Gap Elimination Adjustment there are several issues.. One is that the State essentially borrowed the money from School districts to balance their own budget about 5 years ago…  Carlisto says the GEA was supposed to have been a short term measure to accomplish that goal.. Larger School Districts in the state (he says) have seen their funding rise back very close to levels prior to the Gap Elimination Adjustment was implemented but North Country School Districts have not been the beneficiaries of that funding stream… This year, returning school funding to levels promised to these districts has been a major focus of School Boards, Administrators, Teachers, Parents and many other organizations who are saying restore the funding…  Which was the purpose of a gathering outside of the conference center by teachers and their supporters, asking downstate legislators for their support..

Mary Deitrich is President of the Lake Placid Central School Board. She says they have a list of legislators to contact, as well as commissioners and the Governor..   and she says, it’s the legislators in the more urban regions in New York which may put the nail in the coffin for education funding in more rural settings.. legislators in the North Country have been clear about their support of reinstating the GEA Funding.. Assemblyman Dan Stec has been an outspoken advocate returning the Gap Elimination Funding to rural school districts..

Unfortunately for the North Country, unless taxpayers mobilize…. Schools across the region could find themselves faced with severe budget cuts.. Gary Pretlo represents the 89th Assembly District which includes the entire city of Mount Vernon and about a third of the city of Yonkers.. 

Diane Fox is Superintendent of the Saranac Lake Central School District.. We spoke with her Tuesday afternoon about the effect this year’s budget vote will have on Students in her district.. She says The Administrative Staff has been investigating every aspect of the budget and while their hope is that the public will contact not only local legislators, but also the governor, commissioners, and other members of the Assembly across the state… They’re also planning ahead so that they can be ready for any contingency…

The Saranac Lake School Board, as well as school boards across the north Country have been seeking, and receiving support for increasing the funding amounts from all levels of local government, and Franklin County Legislator Barb Rice says their board is in favor of reinstating the funding..

Assemblywoman Janet Duprey says the Assembly’s proposal comes out shortly and she says, she’s optimistic she and her colleagues in favor of removing the Gap Elimination Adjustment will be able to garner enough support to pass the budget with increased funding when it comes to a vote.. 

K&J – 031114 – Investigating the Gap Elimination Adjustment – A Call for Public Support from School Leaders

031114 - GEA Group at Olympic Center 01

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