18 upstate senators sign letter to Gov. Cuomo
New York State Sen. Patrick M. Gallivan, R-C-I-Elma, released a letter Monday signed by 17 of his fellow upstate senators that was delivered to Gov. Andrew M. Cuomo's office on Friday.
The letter urges the governor to restore funding to low-wealth school districts that were disproportionately impacted by a flawed gap elimination adjustment (GEA) formula employed over the past two years. The letter acknowledges that some progress has been made to restore funding lost through the GEA, but it is noted that most of that restoration aid has been to support high-need urban districts.
"The new gap elimination adjustment formula has negatively impacted many districts across the state, but more so in the hundreds of low-wealth suburban and rural districts that dot upstate. These districts are already forced to contend with a thinning property tax base and are struggling against the strictures of the property tax cap," Gallivan said. "High-need districts in upstate's urban centers have seen GEA restorations of over 40 percent, while suburban and rural low-wealth districts have seen their GEA restored less than 10 percent."
Gallivan and his co-signors are seeking fiscal stabilization grants for districts with combined wealth ratios below the state average and that are also slated to receive GEA restorations less than the state average of 14.9 percent. The group is also recommending the delay of $75 million slated for competitive education program grants, preferring to use that money to lessen the impact of the GEA on low-wealth districts.
The senators who signed Gallivan's letter are; Sen. David J. Valesky (D-53rd District), Sen. Greg Ball (R-40th District), Sen. John J. Bonacic (R-42nd District), Sen. Kathleen A. Marchione (R-43rd District), Sen. Elizabeth O'C. Little (R-45th District), Sen. Joseph A. Griffo (R-47th District), Sen. Patricia A. Ritchie (R-48th District), Sen. Hugh T. Farley (R-49th District), Sen. John A. DeFrancisco (R-50th District), Sen. James L. Seward (R-51st District), Sen. Thomas W. Libous (R-52nd District), Sen. Michael F. Nozzolio (R-54th District), Sen. Catherine Young (R-57th District), Sen. Thomas F. O'Mara (R-58th District), Sen. Mark J. Grisanti (R-60th District), Sen. Michael H. Razenhofer (R-61st District) and Sen. George D. Maziarz (R-62nd District).