GEA & Wicks Law Exemption

GEA Elimination and Wicks Law Exemption Resolution

WHEREAS, the legislature is now providing $4 billion below its own declared amount of aid necessary to provide a sound basic education; and WHEREAS, the Gap Elimination Adjustment (GEA) was introduced in 2010 to eliminate a statewide $10 billion deficit that has cost the taxpayers of Burnt Hills-Ballston Lake Central School District nearly $12 million; and

WHEREAS, the state is now projecting a $2 billion surplus by 2016, yet has not offered any meaningful GEA relief; and

WHEREAS, the Governor’s budget proposal includes more than $4 billion in funding for targeted initiatives, which results in a reduction in the amount available for foundation aid and increases the amount of unfunded mandates; and

WHEREAS, school districts across New York State are trying to build STE(A)M (Science, Technology, Engineering, (Arts) and Math) facilities, yet are encumbered by costly, non-value-added legislation, such as Wicks Law, which will cost the taxpayers of Burnt Hills-Ballston Lake $5 million on a voter-approved referendum project;

IT IS HEREBY RESOLVED the Burnt Hills-Ballston Lake Board of Education urges the state legislature to take immediate corrective action to return control of local taxpayer funds to those locally elected representatives by eliminating the GEA and allowing for provisional, one-time exemptions from Wicks Law to school districts investing in STE(A)M initiatives.

Signed by Board Members: President Lee-Ann Mertzlufft, John Blowers, Elizabeth Herkenham, Patre Kuziak, Jennifer Longtin, James Maughan, and Joseph Pericone.