Sen. Nozzolio pushing to restore school funding in NYS

New York State Sen. Michael Nozzolio says that it is time to end the Gap Elimination Adjustment. Sen. Nozzolio participated in a Joint Legislative Budget Hearing on Education in an effort to provide a thorough review of issues affecting education in the state. Both Senate and Assembly convened in a joint session to hear testimony from educational leaders throughout the state.Sen. Nozzolio said of the joint hearing, “In addition to working toward an on-time budget, this hearing is an important first step towards creating new initiatives and legislation to strengthen our education system.” He went on to point out that, “During the hearing I was pleased to learn that State Education Commissioner Mary Ellen Elia shares my belief that the Gap Elimination Adjustment must be fully restored this year.”Opponents of the GEA point out that it is an unfair state aid cut that schools are held back by every year. They were enacted in 2010 when downstate legislators controlled New York State Senate, Assembly, as well as the Governor’s office.It was created to close an enormous budget gap that existed in the overall New York State budget. However, restoring the funds that should have been allocated to school districts across the state over the entire period of time is something Sen. Nozzolio has advocated for throughout the GEA’s lifespan. He voted against the budget bill in 2010 and spoke out against the bill throughout the process. He said in a press release on Thursday that, “A great education is the key that can open the door to a bright future for our children. Providing our local school districts with necessary funding is of the utmost importance and I am happy that Commissioner Elia agrees, and is advocating that the GEA must be eliminated once and for all.”This comes on the heels of Commissioner Elia asked for an increase of funding to the tune of $2.4 billion in the next budget, which would include an additional $45 million for teacher and principal development. This development was suggested by Gov. Andrew Cuomo’s task force, which indicated that this is where the needs were greatest.

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