Cheektowaga Central school officials hope to put an end to a measure that has stripped millions of dollars in state aid from the district since the measure was enacted five years ago.
During its meeting Tuesday night, the Cheektowaga Central School Board called on the State Legislature to stop using the Gap Elimination Adjustment to reduce state aid for education.
According to the New York State School Boards Association, the Legislature enacted the Gap Elimination Adjustment during the 2009-10 academic year to close the state’s budget gap partially by reducing the portion of state funding given to public schools.
Since the reductions began, the district has lost about $8.7 million, Board President Brian Gould said, adding that a larger portion of the cost of education has been pushed onto local taxpayers.
“It really seems like a poor way to do business,” Gould said.
The resolution introduced by Assistant Superintendent Mary Morris states that adequate state funding for education is constitutionally mandated and is essential to maintaining quality programming.
Pushing the burden to the local level has had other consequences.
“This cost shift has resulted in unsustainable measures to balance the Cheektowaga Central School District budgets, including the reduction and elimination of school programs, personnel and services, and the reduction of school district fund reserves,” the resolution states.
Also during the meeting, the board accepted a $5,000 Lowe’s Toolbox Grant, which will help the district’s parent-teacher groups build stronger relationships with students and the community through the creation of a garden.
Morris also announced that Wegmans made a donation of $500 in the form of $25 gift cards for clubs.
The board’s next meeting will be at 7 p.m. March 11 in the boardroom at Cheektowaga Central High School, 3600 Union Road, and will include a preliminary budget presentation.