State Sen. David Carlucci, D-Rockland/Westchester, and Assemblywoman Sandy Galef, D-Ossining, are calling for a greater increase in Foundation Aid funding in the 2016-17 state budget while at the same time calling for the abolishment of Gap Elimination Adjustment over the next two years.
"Increasing Foundation Aid will provide students and teachers with the academic tools they need to achieve success both inside and outside of the classroom,” said Carlucci. “I join my colleague Assemblywoman Galef in support for an increase in Foundation Aid."
Increasing Foundation Aid will provide the greatest benefit to high-need school districts, such as Ossining and Peekskill, as it is weighted to the benefit of schools with English Language Learners, students from low-income families and students with disabilities, the lawmakers said.
Foundation Aid was put into place in 2006 to provide equal funding to New York state schools with respect to students' need.
The Gap Elimination Adjustment is a built-in reduction in aid for schools statewide that was enacted in 2010. Both Galef and Carlucci believe that continuing the GEA would only lead to more districts being increasingly underfunded and support its abolishment. A bill to end the program has passed in the Senate and is being considered by the Assembly.
“It is important to me to make sure that we are putting as much Foundation Aid funding as we can into educating our young people,” said Galef. “As enrollment and educational costs continue to increase, it only becomes more urgent to properly fund our schools, at the same time bringing equity in funding to all of our students.”
Click here to sign up for Daily Voice's free daily emails and news alerts.