Gap Elimination Adjustment (GEA)
The Southern Cayuga Central School District -- like school districts throughout New York -- continues to face a fiscal crisis. The downturn of the national economy, compounded by new mandates, shrinking state aid and New York’s tax levy limit law, has challenged public schools to provide a high-quality education to all students with significantly fewer resources.
“The budget process has been challenging, partly because of significant increases in state-mandated costs and the adverse impact of the Gap Elimination Adjustment,” said Patrick Jensen, Superintendent of Schools. “The partial restoration of aid is appreciated, but the district’s projected loss for 2014/15 is approximately $929,501.”
The Gap Elimination Adjustment (GEA) law was first introduced for the 2010/11 fiscal year by state leaders as a way to help close New York’s then $10 billion budget deficit. Under the legislation, 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.
The GEA has left holes in many school district budgets ever since. And since the GEA continues in the 2013/14 state budget, those holes are expected to widen. In 2010/11, 2011/12, 2012/13 and 2013/14, the district lost more than $5.3 million in education aid. That figure will grow to almost $6.2 million under the 2014/15 state budget, this time in an era of a state budget surplus. At the rate the Governor has proposed to restore the GEA cut in his 2014/15 budget, it would take five more years for it to be eliminated entirely.