On Friday, April 1, New York lawmakers approved a 2016-17 state budget that includes an overall $1.5 billion – or 6.5 percent – increase in education funding. The state budget ends the Gap Elimination Adjustment, which has diverted billions of dollars from schools during the last seven years.
South Glens Falls’ schools is projected to receive $26,657,184 in total state aid, which is an $1,340,665 increase in funding of 5.3 percent compared to the current school year. South Glens Falls had lost $16,669,222 to the GEA over the course of the past seven years.
The original state budget proposal would have restored only $266,010 in GEA money to South Glens Falls for the 2016-17 school year, but called for withholding an additional $444,661 in GEA funds, bringing the total loss to $16,935,232.
The district board of education, administrators, faculty, staff and community members have worked collaboratively to advocate for the full elimination of the GEA.
“We are pleased that the Legislature has chosen to restore money that has been withheld from our schools,” said Superintendent of Schools Michael Patton, Ed.D. “We hope our state leaders will continue to support public education, and continue to work to restore funding that has been lost over the past decade. I appreciate the support South Glens Falls has received from Assemblywoman Woerner and Senator Marchione to finally eliminate the GEA.”
The South Glens Falls CSD Board of Education has been developing its budget for the past several months. The board is expected to adopt a budget at its April 11, 2016, meeting. The annual budget hearing and Meet the Candidates Night will be held at 6:30 p.m. on Wednesday, May 4 at the HS LGI.