ALBANY, 03/13/13 -- Senator James L. Seward (R/C/I-Oneonta) delivered opening remarks today during the joint budget conference committee on education meeting.
Senator Seward served on the senate education budget subcommittee, and the plan that panel recommended to the full senate became part of the senate’s budget resolution passed on March 11.
The senate majority coalition plan:
*Jumps aid to public schools by 4.6 percent or $925 million (more than $400 million more than the governor’s plan;
*Increases the governor’s proposed restorations to the gap elimination adjustment (GEA) from $321 million to $620 million overall -- nearly doubling funding to reduce districts’ GEA and bringing it down to $1.5 billion;
*Includes a defined plan to eliminate and extinguish the GEA over three years; *Boosts general support for schools by $415 million above the governor’s plan in part by capturing and redirecting more than $200 million in grants and competitive grant programs;
*Restores cuts in high tax aid, among others.
Senator Seward says he will continue to advocate for these priorities as the conference committee works to negotiate the education portion of the New York State budget.