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District News

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David W. Ziskin

Superintendent of Schools

25 High Street

Fort Plain, NY 13339

518.993.4000

 

 
 

Fair funding for public schools

Assemblyman Angelo Santabarbara rallies together with Fort Plain and Amsterdam School Districts

Together, they ask for an end to the Gap Elimination Adjustment

Since its inception in 2011, the Gap Elimination Adjustment has cost over $4 million in lost revenue for Fort Plain. In a district with an annual budget of approximately $18 million, this loss of funding has translated into a 22 percent reduction in staff over the years along with program cut-backs.

“Public schools are being asked to do more and more but without funding to back it up,” said Superintendent Douglas Burton. “We don’t anticipate recovering the lost funds, but we do expect the unfair distribution of funding to end.”

The Gap Elimination Adjustment (GEA) was introduced for the state's 2010-11 fiscal year as a way to help close the state's $10 billion budget deficit. Under the legislation, a percentage of the funding shortfall at the state level was divided among all the state's school districts and reflected as a reduction in school district state aid. Since the state is no longer in a deficit, districts are asking for the legislation to do away with the GEA and find a more equitable way of distributing funds.

The Fort Plain Board of Education recently adopted a resolution which they presented to the state legislature asking:

1.  For an end to the GEA now that the state is no longer in a deficit and,

2.  Establish a non-political committee of fiscal experts to develop a sound, equitable means of distributing funding to public schools (the complete resolution can be found here).

State Assemblyman Santabarbara rallied with Fort Plain and The Greater Amsterdam School District during a press conference in December. "Investing in our children's education means eliminating the costly GEA and prioritizing our public schools in the state budget," he said. "Increasing state aid to our local schools will lower property taxes, restore years of harmful cuts and provide children with the resources they need to succeed."

 

Read an article published in the Amsterdam Recorder here.