Tonawanda News

February 5, 2014

Ken-Ton calls for end to gap elimination

Staff Reports
The Tonawanda News

Tonawanda News — The Ken-Ton school board has passed a resolution calling on the state legislature to immediately end a funding change known as the gap elimination adjustment.

The resolution states that the GEA was implemented in 2010 as a one-time reduction in aid to help balance the state budget. The measure has been a part of every year’s budget since then.

“The GEA since its inception has reduced state aid to the Kenmore-Town of Tonawanda Union Free School District by over $33 million,” the resolution states. “This reduction in aid has resulted in a cost shift to local taxpayers.”

The board noted that it is further restrained by the property tax levy cap, unfunded and underfunded mandates, increases in pension and health care costs, the implementation of Common Core and teacher performance reviews.

Board President Bob Dana sent a copy of the resolution and a letter to state Sen. Mark Grisanti, R-Buffalo, and Assemblyman Robin Schimminger, D-Kenmore, indicating that the district would support proposed legislation that would phase out the adjustment over the next three years.

“Ken-Ton’s 2014-2015 budget gap has grown to around $5 million as a result of the executive budget proposal and related factors,” he wrote. “Our children are counting on us to maintain the quality education necessary for their future success.”