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Ceretto: Assembly budget proposal eliminates GEA, freezes SUNY tuition

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Fri, Mar 11th 2016 09:30 am

Assemblyman John D. Ceretto, D-Lewiston, announced the Assembly's proposal for education funding in the 2016-17 state budget includes an increase in support for schools by $2.1 billion over last year's budget, full restoration of the Gap Elimination Adjustment and a SUNY tuition freeze.

"As a former teacher and the father of two educators, I know how important it is for our schools to have the funding they need to educate our children," Ceretto said. "This series of proposals show the commitment we have to our children and will help ensure they have every opportunity to succeed."

The Assembly proposal would completely eliminate the GEA, providing $434 million schools are owed. In addition, foundation aid, the base amount of funding school districts receive from the state, would be increased $1.1 billion from the 2015-16 school year. The proposal also includes increased funding for BOCES and other career and technology education programs.

"Our proposal provides vital funding local schools require to properly care for our children's future," Ceretto said.

In addition to a renewed commitment to primary education, the Assembly plan rejects an executive proposal to hike tuition rates for SUNY students. Instead, the Assembly's proposal would freeze SUNY tuition for two years and increase funding for awards under the tuition assistance program (TAP).

"As students are increasingly burdened with student loan debt, now is not the time to continue with ever-growing tuition costs," Ceretto said. "We are committed to keeping New York's public colleges one of the best bargains for young people in the country."

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