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Murphy Calls For Ending Gap Elimination Adjustment For School Aid

State Sen. Terrence Murphy
State Sen. Terrence Murphy Photo Credit: File

WESTCHESTER COUNTY, N.Y. -- State Sen. Terrence Murphy, along with the New York State Senate Republican Majority outlined a plan to abolish the Gap Elimination Adjustment (GEA) and its impact on state funding to public schools.

The Senate Republican Conference is proposing to return $1 billion to schools across the state by accelerating the complete elimination of the GEA in the 2015-16 state budget.

"As a father of three young kids I believe we have a responsibility to provide a quality education for all of New York's children,"  Murphy said in a statement. "By finally getting rid of the Gap Elimination Adjustment we will restore vital dollars to all of our schools and help areas like Peekskill, who lost more than two million dollars last year, improve vital programs and resources for their students."

The GEA was first implemented in 2010 by then- Gov. David Paterson. It was introduced for the 2010-11 fiscal year as a way to help close New York’s then $10 billion budget deficit. Under the law, a portion of the funding shortfall at the state level is divided among all school districts throughout the state and reflected as a reduction in school district state aid.

Essentially, it’s a "take-back" by the state of aid originally due to school districts.

Since it was first approved, Senate Republicans have been leading the charge to abolish the GEA and deliver major funding increases to help mitigate its impact on education.

The GEA cuts have been reduced by 62 percent -- from a high of $2.6 billion in the 2011-2012 budget to $1 billion in the 2014-15 budget - to help restore billions of dollars in state aid to schools.

Last year the Peekskill School District lost more than $2 million to the GEA as did the Lakeland School District.

In Putnam County, the Mahopac Central School District lost nearly $3 million dollars. On average, less than 40 percent of GEA funding has been restored to schools in the 40th Senate District, which Murphy represents.

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