Briarcliff Schools Call For End To Reductions In State Aid

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The Briarcliff Manor Board of Education has joined the fight for eliminatio of the Gap Elimination Adjustment. Photo Credit: File Photo

BRIARCLIFF MANOR, N.Y. -- The Briarcliff Manor Board of Education has unanimously passed a resolution that calls for lawmakers to end the Gap Elimination Adjustment (GEA).

The Board of Education recently voted unanimously to end the annual GEA and "restore the much needed school aid that has been taken away from the Briarcliff Manor School District and other New York State school districts since the law’s inception four years ago," representatives said.

The GEA is a formula the state first implemented in the 2010-11 school year to help decrease a large budget deficit. With the formula in place, aid for school districts across the state was reduced.

Briarcliff joins the campaign spearheaded by the Westchester Putnam School Boards Association (WPSBA) to restore a loss of more than $500 million in state aid to school districts in the region due to the GEA.

"WPSBA has made the elimination of the GEA one of its highest priorities for the 2013-2014 school year," representatives said. "It is working to convince legislators that the GEA should be eliminated, thereby helping school districts in a time of great financial constriction and ever increasing mandated services."

"The GEA, along with state aid reductions, insufficient mandate relief and the enactment of the property tax levy cap, has created irreversible financial consequences for schools within Westchester and Putnam counties, along with sister regions in Dutchess and Rockland," representatives said.

“By passing our GEA resolution, our Board is joining WPSBA and other school districts that have passed similar resolutions to advocate for proper school funding. Local taxpayers should not have to bear the burden of the state government’s attempt to fix its own deficit by backing out of its financial obligation to its schoolchildren,” said Briarcliff Board of Education President Jennifer Rosen.

The Briarcliff Board of Education is encouraging district residents to join the campaign to eliminate the GEA by participating in a letter writing initiative to Gov. Andrew M. Cuomo and legislative representatives in Albany. Residents can obtain a sample letter to send electronically by visiting the Briarcliff PTA website.

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