“Ending Era of Gap Elimination Adjustment”
For release, from Assemblyman David Buchwald’s office:
After years of suburban school districts in New York State falling victim to state budget cuts, Assemblyman David Buchwald (D-White Plains) announced that public schools in his State Assembly District will see a substantial increase in state aid for the 2016-17 school year. The increase in state aid was led by the end of the Gap Elimination Adjustment (also known as the GEA). Of the nearly $1.5 billion in overall additional state education aid in the budget, $434 million has been appropriated for the end of the GEA. In addition to ending the GEA, $627 million has been included in the state budget to boost Foundation Aid, a broad-based level of aid for school districts. In total, there is an additional $8.9 million in new state aid earmarked for public schools based in Buchwald’s Assembly District, which encompasses all or part of nine school districts in central and northern Westchester.
“Since I entered the State Assembly three years ago, I have made it my mission to make sure that our local schools are appropriately funded and that our children can get the education they deserve,” said Assemblyman Buchwald. “With the full restoration of the GEA, school districts can more confidently plan their yearly budgets, thereby ending an era of uncertainty for the education community and taxpayers. I have received thousands of letters solely on this issue, and I am happy to report back to my constituents that we have repealed the GEA. Although we have scored this major victory for students, parents, educators and taxpayers across the state, I will always be fighting on behalf of our local schools.”
A breakdown of school aid increases within Buchwald’s Assembly District are as follows:
· Bedford Central School District – $754,077, a 13.2 % increase in aid.
· Byram Hills School District – $ 272,189, a 8.3% increase in aid.
· Chappaqua School District -$954,262, a 15.0% increase in aid.
· Harrison School District – $498,032, a 13.3% increase in aid.
· Katonah-Lewisboro School District – $1,112,813, a 17.7% increase in aid.
· North Salem School District – $206,997, a 10.2% increase in aid.
· Ossining School District – $1,150,904, a 7.0% increase in aid.
· Valhalla School District – $140,486, a 3.1 % increase in aid (a $379,000 increase from ending of GEA, less changes in expense-based school aids).
· White Plains School District – $231,119, a 1.1% increase in aid (a $401,000 increase from ending of GEA, plus a $104,000 increase in Foundation Aid, less changes in expense-based school aids).
The above amounts and percentages do not include building aid, which is focused on capital expenditures and fluctuates from year to year. For some districts, additional building aid significantly increases the total aid amounts – for example in Ossining, where total aid including building aid went up $2.9 million, or 16.7%. Jumps in building aid also bring up the Valhalla and White Plains total aid figures.
Assemblyman Buchwald co-sponsored two pieces of legislation in the State Assembly that would have repealed the GEA: Assembly bills A.2271-C and A.5365. Buchwald has also attended various school board meetings and education forums across his Assembly District where he spoke on developments within the legislature on school funding issues.