Urge Governor Cuomo, other state leaders to eliminate the GEA today!
January 31, 2014
Watervliet City School District—like other school districts throughout New York—is facing a fiscal crisis.
The Gap Elimination Adjustment (GEA), coupled with new mandates and the state’s tax levy limit, has challenged our public schools to continue to provide a high-quality education to all students with significantly fewer resources. As a result, our district has had to dismantle educational programs and opportunities for students as we adjust to rising costs that are outpacing revenue.
Watervliet’s district leaders have been working with staff and community members to find creative ways to weather the economic storm without sacrificing the integrity of our program. Yet without meaningful and timely relief from our government leaders, district residents may risk losing the high level of public education that they have come to know and value throughout the years. The time for change is now. The voices of school leaders and lobbyists for state-level education groups simply are not enough, as recent legislative sessions have shown. Elected officials need to hear from you, their constituents.
They need to hear from the people that are most directly affected by their decisions (or indecision) year after year— Watervliet’s parents, students, employees, residents, community groups and business owners.
What can I do?
Advocacy takes many forms. It could be a note to an elected official, a comment made during a public forum, a letter to a newspaper editor or formal testimony at public hearings. It could be as simple as chatting with neighbors to clear up misunderstandings about education issues or sharing education-related stories with a local civic organization during monthly meetings.
You might think becoming an advocate for education is hard, but it's not really. Anyone can become involved—at the level they are comfortable with. The only prerequisite is a desire to stand up for our students and support our community schools. Effective advocates do their homework. They know the issues and plan their communication. Most of all, they give their time to advance their cause.
Download our Advocacy Toolkit (PDF) to access several tools to help you become an advocate for education and for Watervliet. Thank you for taking the time to advocate on behalf of Watervliet’s children and for helping to ensure that they receive the quality education they deserve.
Advocacy- Our Kids Can't Wait Another Year
Learn how New York State's Gap Elimination Adjustment or GEA is hurting our school children in this very personal video featuring the stories of local educators, teachers and students. view video
January 30 forum on school funding crisis draws more than 1,000
Upwards of 1,000 parents, teachers, administrators, students and community members from 47 school districts gathered on January 30 at Colonie Central High School for "New York schools STILL in fiscal peril: Our kids can't wait another year" for a thought-provoking roundtable discussion about the state’s Gap Elimination Adjustment (GEA) and the effect this significant reduction in aid has had on academic programs and services in the past four years. view video
Understanding NY State's GEA and What It's Doing to Our Schools
Do you understand New York State's Gap Elimination Adjustment or GEA and the devastating effect it is having on schools like ours? Take a look at this short video that explains what the GEA is and its impact on public schools. Watervliet schools, by the way, have lost $4 million to the GEA over the past four years, and will lose another $500,000 in 2014-15 if state leaders do not act to eliminate the GEA. view video
Understanding NY State's 2 % Tax Levy Cap
Do you understand New York State's so-called "2%" tax levy cap? Well, it's not really a 2% cap at all. This short video created by the Capital Region BOCES Communications Service explains why. view video | download brochure (pdf)
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