VALHALLA, N.Y. -- The Valhalla Daily Voice accepts signed and original letters to the editor up to 350 words. To submit your letter, email firstname.lastname@example.org.
To the editor:
In 2010, New York state implemented what is now known as the Gap Elimination Adjustment (GEA), siphoning money from local school districts to “temporarily” solve the state budget crisis at the time.
Six years later, the State has continued to employ this tactic that shortchanges both the students and taxpayers of our communities and further undermines local control -- particularly in the face of continued unfunded mandates and financial constraints.
I applaud State Sen. Terrence Murphy’s efforts to end GEA this year. To date, the Valhalla School District has lost more than $3 million as a result of GEA, critically affecting district resources that have a direct impact in the classroom.
Our district is slated to lose over $260,000 more in funding under Governor Cuomo’s current proposal unless members of the state Legislature take a stand and act.
GEA impacts nearly every resident because it usurps taxpayer dollars that are owed to each school district. Furthermore, there’s no longer a budget “gap” to “eliminate” as the State is projecting a $2.2 billion surplus.
I strongly encourage members of the state Legislature to adopt a budget that finally ends GEA this year without adding more burdensome mandates.
Politics shouldn’t stand in the way of common sense.
Anthony C. Amiano
Valhalla Board of Education member