The state has finally rescinded a cut to education funding that has been costing our schools billions of dollars — now it’s time to rebuild.
But we can only rebuild if we move up from here. We cannot afford any more setbacks.
Ending the Gap Elimination Adjustment will allow our school districts to collect more financial aid than they have been able to for several years now. The total deduction statewide started as high as $3 billion and was eventually reduced to $434 million before being cut altogether. This was great news for education advocates across the state.
However, this new balance needs to be preserved in order for education to truly recover, because of the timing in which the cuts were installed. Around the same time the state started slashing education dollars, school districts were forced to adhere to tax levy cap regulations imposed under New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo (D).
The Gap Elimination Adjustment was already an enormous deficit for our schools, but adding the cap on top of it made it much more difficult for districts to find their footing. Because of this terrible timing, the true damage done to our districts cannot be measured in just dollars and cents — they’re going to need some time to reposition themselves in the coming years.
Kids are our most important assets and we’re already falling behind other countries when it comes to educational performance. We need our legislators to stay true to their current position when it comes to education spending and invest in higher standards for our students.
We’re gratified that our legislators finally got on board with slashing the Gap Elimination Adjustment cuts. They should have never enacted it in the first place.