Money for education

Ending the Gap Elimination Adjustment

Governor Cuomo announced in his State of the State address on Wednesday “once and for all, let’s end the Gap Elimination Adjustment”. I must admit that I sputtered a bit when these words came out of his mouth since he has held onto the GEA throughout his entire tenure as governor despite cries for relief from every corner. Regardless I am glad that he has finally seen the light. However getting rid of the GEA will not solve all of our schools’ financial woes.

The other piece of the financial puzzle is Foundation Aid and is owed to schools as a result of the Campaign for Fiscal Equity. You can use the tool at this website to determine how much each school within a district is owed. Kingston is actually owed a relatively small amount (just $8,795,875.13 if I didn’t mess up the addition of the numbers for the 10 schools) compared to many other districts and we have benefited more by having the GEA restored. However school districts need to be able to know how much school aid they can count on from year to year and the Foundation Aid Formula allows for that information to be known.

New York State has been shirking its legal responsibility to our public schools by not using the Foundation Aid Formula.  When New York State starts using the Foundation Aid Formula, school districts will have a sound basis to create yearly budgets.  The districts will know how much money they can count on receiving each year from New York State and can focus on the important task of crafting the school budget not speculating about how much money the state will decide to give them.