Strengthening Our Schools, Supporting Our Children

Catharine Young

March 21, 2014

Strengthening Our Schools, Supporting Our Children

Standing up for the people in our rural communities and working together to give everyone the opportunity to succeed through quality education always has been my record.

We are in intense budget negotiations and I wanted to give you an update.

The State Senate's budget plan significantly increases education aid to our rural schools.

The Senate’s Republicans and Independent Democrats are working together in an historic partnership that is achieving positive results for the people of New York State.

I voted against the Gap Elimination Adjustment (GEA) when it was forced into place in 2009-10.

Since that time, the Senate Republicans have been leading the charge to abolish the GEA and restore state aid for our children's education. Progress has been made because of our unwavering commitment.

The bipartisan Senate Republican and Independent Democratic Conference budget resolution that we just passed gives relief to rural school districts and protects our children by restoring the GEA by up to $686 million.

The Senate's GEA restoration is more than double the Governor's. Our plan would give flexibility to school districts so that each can address its individual priorities.

The lion's share of the Senate's GEA restorations would go to high needs school districts like the ones I represent.

The Senate also voted in favor of expediting the full phase out of the GEA over the following two years.

Right now, I am standing up for students in my district by pushing hard at the negotiating table to have even more GEA restorations included in the final budget.

We also included in the Senate budget proposal funding for Pre-Kindergarten reimbursements that would be available to every public school district across the state.

I will continue working with schools, public officials, and taxpayers to achieve positive results for our children, schools, and communities.

Warmest regards,

Senator Cathy Young