What is happening with school aid equity advocacy?


PHONE OR EMAIL TO END THE Gap Elimination Adjustment (GEA) THIS YEAR!:

1. Send an email: click here to download: email blitz – sample email with text and addresses to adapt

2. Call the Governor and selected State Legislators.  Names, numbers and possible talking points follow:

  • Governor Cuomo: 518-474-8390
  • Senator Ritchie: 518-455-3438
  • Assemblymember Russell: 518-455-5545
  • Senator Skelos (Senate Majority Coalition Leader): 518-455-3171
  • Senator Klein (Independent Democratic Caucus and Majority Coalition Co-Leader): 518-455-3595
  • Senator Flanagan (Senate Education Committee Chair): 518-455-2071
  • Senator DeFrancisco (Senate Finance Committee Chair): 518-455-3511
  • Assemblymember Silver (Assembly Speaker): 518-455-3791
  • Assemblymember Nolan (Assembly Education Committee Chair): 518-455-4851

POSSIBLE TALKING POINTS FOR REFERENCE:

I am calling on you to support ending the Gap Elimination Adjustment (GEA) THIS YEAR and take a critical step toward more equitable funding for schools across the state.  The GEA has put our school in fiscal and educational crisis. [If you just state this message, it is enough . . . but to explain why . . . read on!]

[Insert your school information if you are not from Canton]

GEA CUT MUCH HIGHER THAN STATE AVERAGE: From 2009-2015, if the Governor’s budget is enacted, Canton will have experienced a decrease of $7910 per pupil, one of the highest per-pupil district decreases in the state (the state average per pupil cut is $2895).

LOSS OF STAFF AND PROGRAMS: With the elimination of over 50 faculty and staff positions Canton has lost 25% of our workforce and 37 curricular offerings.

LACK OF RESOURCES AND ANOTHER HUGE GAP: Unlike wealthier districts, Canton cannot absorb these huge losses in state aid.  To offset the last two-year cuts, Canton would have had to raise taxes by over 60%.  Looking ahead to 2014-15, Canton is facing a projected deficit of $2.5 million.

HIGH PERFORMING SCHOOL, BUT FOR HOW MUCH LONGER?: According to publications such as Business First and US News and World Report, Canton is one of the highest performing schools in the North Country.  Continued drastic cuts will leave us unable to provide even a “sound, basic education.”

EQUITABLE FUNDING NECESSARY FOR A SOUND, BASIC EDUCATION: We believe New York State must meet its obligation to provide a sound, basic education by adjusting the school funding formula so that funding – and cuts – are administered equitably and fairly.

SUPPORT FOR PUBLIC EDUCATION IS KEY TO ECONOMIC DEVELOPMENT IN THE NORTH COUNTRY: The state has invested generously in North Country business and economic development. Support for education must be a part of economic development policies. (or: Not equitably supporting education will undermine these economic development investments.) However, education is more than a business investment; it is an investment in the future. It will ultimately pay dividends that benefit our community, state, and society as a whole. We urge you to invest on our schools – to fund ALL schools fairly.

Click here for this information in handout form https://fairfundingforstudents.files.wordpress.com/2014/03/phonedayflier.pdf

3. Statewide School Finance Consortium

Education funding advocate Dr. Rick Timbs urges all stakeholders [parents, students, educators, communities] to demand equity for ALL students.  See his take on the impact of the Senate’s Education Funding Proposal here

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BACKGROUND TO THIS ISSUE: IT CANNOT BE DENIED . . .

. . . that the Gap Elimination Adjustment (GEA) is costing our students their opportunity for a sound and basic education . . . ESPECIALLY students in less wealthy areas. [See Tale of 2 Schools Flier and this video: The GEA Explained (2 mins)]

Schools such as Canton Central and Potsdam Central, along with less wealthy schools throughout New York State, continue to face significantly greater budget gaps than they can overcome due to the GEA.

Now there is movement throughout the state to END THE GEA!

Many voices are calling for an end to the GEA.  In the Senate,  Senator Patty Ritchie and several others have joined Senator John Flanagan to propose a bill ending it within three years. In the Assembly, Assemblyman Edward Hennessy has proposed a bill that is co-sponsored by Assemblywoman Addie Russell among others, to end the GEA immediately.

. . .but we need to add our voices once again to make it happen THIS YEAR!

What can I do to help?

  • Call several of the following sometime on Wednesday, March 12, 2014:
        • Governor Cuomo: 518-474-8390
        • Senator Ritchie: 518-455-3438
        • Assemblymember Russell: 518-455-5545
        • Senator Skelos (Senate Majority Coalition Leader): 518-455-3171
        • Senator Klein (Independent Democratic Caucus and Majority Coalition Co-Leader): 518-455-3595
        • Senator Flanagan (Senate Education Committee Chair): 518-455-2071
        • Senator DeFrancisco (Senate Finance Committee Chair): 518-455-3511
        • Assemblymember Silver (Assembly Speaker): 518-455-3791
        • Assemblymember Nolan (Assembly Education Committee Chair): 518-455-4851
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