State Senator Patty Ritchie is inviting people to stand up for teachers and students by signing her petition in support of repealing the Gap Elimination Adjustment; a budget gimmick commonly known as the GEA, which has cost schools across New York State upwards of $8 billion since its implementation.
“Although we’ve worked hard to increase education aid in recent years, the GEA is continuing to put a strain on our schools; making it harder for them to provide teachers with the resources they need to be effective and robbing students from the opportunities they deserve,” said Senator Ritchie. “We owe it to our dedicated educators and to New York’s next generation of leaders to put their needs first and end the GEA once and for all. I’m hopeful that people across our region will join me in standing up for our schools by signing this petition and demonstrating their support for repealing the GEA.”
Those interested in signing the petition can do so at www.ritchie.nysenate.gov. Individuals without access to a computer can call her Watertown office at (315) 782-3418 to show their support for the GEA’s repeal.
First introduced in 2010, before Senator Ritchie took office, the GEA was developed as a way to help close New York’s then $10 billion budget deficit.
In recent years, Senator Ritchie has fought on behalf of teachers, students and their families to reduce the GEA for school districts she represents by more than 78 percent, the highest ratio of GEA reduction in any region of the state.
Currently, she sponsors legislation to fully repeal the GEA.
In addition, Senator Ritchie has been at the forefront of advocating for stronger support for public schools in Central and Northern New York.
In the four previous State Budgets, she has been successful in increasing funding by $33 million more than the Executive Budget for the districts she represents.
Recently, she asked constituents to weigh in on a number of issues facing New York State, including the GEA, through her 2015 Legislative Survey.
75 percent of survey participants expressed that they support a full repeal of the GEA.