The Harborfields Central School District has launched a letter-writing campaign to local and state legislators to ask their assistance in supporting the restoration of Gap Elimination Adjustment funds to the district, in addition to the GEA’s repeal. Formerly known as the Deficit Reduction Assessment, the GEA’s original purpose was to reduce state support to public schools in order to close the state’s own $10 billion budget deficit. Over the past three years, the GEA has reduced state aid to Long Island school districts by close to $1 billion. In Harborfields specifically, the GEA reduction for the current year is $1,851,913 and totals $9,272,526 for the past five years.


In an attempt to lessen the negative effects of the GEA, districts have been relying on fund balances and reserve funds to minimize detrimental cuts to educational programs and to maintain a tax levy increase local taxpayers can support. The GEA has resulted in the layoff of approximately 60 staff members in Harborfields, including teachers, administrators and support staff; reduced athletic, music and arts programs; reduced enrichment and summer programs; and postponed facilities preservation efforts.

The 2014-2015 Executive Budget Proposal for New York State restores only $46,297 to Harborfields, a truly insignificant value – even more insignificant when compared to other regions of New York State. The GEA cumulative restoration to the district over the past four years is estimated at 14.3% - significantly lower than the statewide estimate of 41.2%.

“We hope a large percentage of the Harborfields community participates in the letter-writing campaign,” said Superintendent of Schools Diana Todaro. “We need to make our voices heard by our elected officials that this aid needs to be restored to our district. This money is valuable in helping us to preserve vital programs and services for our students while minimizing the tax impact on the local community.”

To view the letter sent on behalf of the district to local and state legislators, please see below. A listing of all local and state legislators is also listed below.

 

GOVERNOR CUOMO 

 

SENATOR SKELOS 

(NYS Senate Majority Leader)

 

ASSEMBLYMAN SILVER

(Assembly Majority Leader)

 

SENATOR FLANAGAN

(NYS Senate Education Chair)

 

ASSEMBLYWOMAN NOLAN 

(Chair, Education Committee)

ASSEMBLYMAN LUPINACCI

(A.D. 10)

NYS ASSEMBLYMAN RAIA

(A.D. 12)

NYS SENATOR MARCELLINO

(S.D. 5)

 

 

 

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