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To be delivered to the Board of Regents, The New York State House, The New York State Senate, and Governor Andrew Cuomo.

We, the undersigned citizens of New York State, urge you to fully restore education aid to NYS schools by ending the GAP ELIMINATION ADJUSTMENT (GEA) in the 2014-2015 state budget. This is not a request for new or additional funds for education, but a call for funding already promised, but not delivered.

Currently, total state education aid remains below the level provided to NYS school districts in 2008-09, while at the same time expectations for educational outcomes and accountability have increased dramatically with the adoption of the Common Core Learning Standards and the implementation of the Annual Professional Performance Review (APPR). To say that New York schools are being asked to do more with less is a gross understatement.

Over the past decade, New York State aid for education has decreased sharply,* requiring schools to rely more heavily on property taxes and other local revenues to maintain educational standards. School districts, with the exception of a few select wealthy districts, cannot raise enough money locally to maintain adequate staffing and programs, much less to raise education standards to “college and career readiness” as charged by the Commissioner of Education, Dr. John King.

State spending has increased from $116B to $133B over the past five years, yet not a penny of that increased spending has gone to public schools.

Give New York State schools the aid needed to educate our students. This aid has already been promised to schools, but taken away through the GEA. Say “NO” to the GEA and “YES” to equal educational opportunities for all students.

We call on you to act now to:

Restore $1.6 billion in educational funding for the 2014-2015 school year by immediately eliminating all remaining Gap Elimination Adjustments.

* According to the 2013 Position Statement issued by the Rural Schools Association, the State’s share of aid has decreased from nearly 50% of shared state/local costs during the 2001-02 school year to around 40% during 2011-2012. See Rural Schools Association (2013) Position Statement:

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