Please call the Governor and selected State Legislators on Wednesday, March 12. 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.
[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