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Croton-Harmon Seeks 'Gap Elimination' Repeal, Restoration Of School Funding

Croton-Harmon school trustees are calling on the state to restore school funding. Board members, l-r: Iris Bugliosi, vice president; Todd Freebern, president; Giuseppina Miller, Neal Haber, Patrice Davidson, Joshua Diamond, and Andrea Furey.
Croton-Harmon school trustees are calling on the state to restore school funding. Board members, l-r: Iris Bugliosi, vice president; Todd Freebern, president; Giuseppina Miller, Neal Haber, Patrice Davidson, Joshua Diamond, and Andrea Furey. Photo Credit: chufsd.org

CROTON-ON-HUDSON, N.Y. -- The Croton-Harmon Board of Education, in a recent resolution, has called on Gov. Andrew Cuomo to repeal the Gap Elimination Adjustment and to restore school funding.

Cited in the resolution, which passed unanimously on Monday, Dec. 14, were the following factors:

  • Public education costs, mandated by the state, have continued to increase due to circumstances beyond the control of school districts. These include: external services needed to meet state mandates, and teacher and employee retirement plans and benefits.
  • An unprecedented low inflation rate this year. This means, the board said, that state tax levy cap for the 2016-17 year will likely be close to zero percent, allowing little or no increase in overall school tax revenues. Mandated costs are not exempted or accounted in the calculation of the annual tax levy cap, the school board noted.
  • Since the Gap Elimination Adjustment’s inception, $8.8 billion statewide, and $403 million in Westchester and Putnam counties, has been lost to the state, the resolution said, pointing out that the school district alone has lost more than $3 million.
  • State Comptroller Thomas P. DiNapoli is projecting a $3 billion state budget surplus for 2015.

In its resolution, the board also demanded that Cuomo and state lawmakers oppose the adoption of any budget that does not include a repeal of the GEA and significantly increased foundation aid.

Finally, the board asked the public to support its stand by contacting their elected representatives.

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