Fitzpatrick Calls For Full Return Of Education Funds And Timely School Aid Runs

Assemblyman Michael Fitzpatrick (R,C,I-Smithtown) today called on the governor to fully return the funds taken from schools in a 2009-10 budget maneuver known as the Gap Elimination Adjustment (GEA). Additionally, Fitzpatrick is calling for a timely release of school aid runs, which traditionally are issued when the governor unveils his budget. In 2015, he withheld the information, which is critical for school districts in their budgeting process.

“It’s simple, the state has an obligation to fully fund our school districts. Some members of the legislature made the shortsighted decision to allow the governor to borrow against the future of our children to close a budget gap created by rampant, uncontrolled spending. It was wrong then and must be resolved once and for all,” said Fitzpatrick. “Additionally, it is my hope the governor will do the right thing this year and release school aid runs as soon as he announces the budget. Last year, he sat on this information, which is critical for schools in their planning and budgeting process.”

The GEA removed $1.5 billion from already-struggling school districts, negatively impacting students and taxpayers. Actions were taken last year to cut the figure in half, but Fitzpatrick insists the funds need to be fully restored to school districts in this year’s budget.