Advocacy

An Important Message from Superintendent Eric Schnabl

An Important Message from Superintendent Eric Schnabl On January 21, Governor Andrew Cuomo presented his combined State of the State Address and 2015-2016 Executive Budget Proposal. Under the Governor's Executive Budget Proposal, state funding for schools would increase statewide by $1.1 billion next year, only if lawmakers approve a number of his educational reforms. If lawmakers fail to approve his agenda, the Governor has proposed no increase in aid to public schools for the next two years. Cuomo's agenda includes, but is not limited to:
  • Increasing the number of charter schools and 30% increase in per student funding in charter schools (funding will be siphoned from public schools to pay for charter school students). Only 17% of charter schools perform equal to or better than public schools.
  • The Governor will control the NYS Board of Regents and the power of local school boards will be limited. The Board of Regents and 83 members of the NYS legislature recommended a minimum of $2 billion to equalize educational opportunity throughout the state. The Governor proposed only $1.1 billion.
  • Teacher tenure timeline will increase to five years and teachers must be effective or highly effective on evaluations all five years to receive tenure. What incentive is there for our best young teachers to work in high needs schools whose students do not perform as well as those in more affluent schools?
  • Standardized state testing will increase for students and scores will be used to determine 50% of teacher evaluation results (previously 20%). The current evaluation system is already flawed and a greater emphasis will be put on tests that are subject to the opt-out.” The number of opt outs is expected to triple from the 60,000 parents that refused the 3-8 tests last year.
  • The State will NOT release budget runs to districts unless lawmakers agree to Cuomo's agenda. (Budget runs are preliminary figures provided to districts allowing them to formulate school budgets, which must be voted on in May. Without budget runs, the districts must guess when developing budgets and release them for public vote.)
In an unprecedented move, the Governor is holding State Aid hostage in order to achieve his draconian measures. Many of us question the Governor's motivation as a means to gain more power and further line the pockets of his financial supporters, such as the corporations and hedge fund managers that are making billions of dollars from tests, texts, data collection, etc.

To date, Sherburne-Earlville has lost more than $5.1 million in State Aid via the Gap Elimination Adjustment (GEA). The GEA was meant to be a temporary means to close the gap in the State budget. With the State budget boasting a $5 billion surplus, one would expect that funding be restored without a vast set of strings that promote an anti-public school agenda.

Who can deny that closing the gaps in student learning and achievement is a priority? Increasing the reliance on standardized testing will only further promote the culture of teaching to the test. Who can also deny that the District needs to develop a fiscally responsible school budget? Withholding budget runs and holding State Aid hostage prevents us from effec-tively doing so.

We, as a school community, need to stand together and let our voices be heard. I encourage all stakeholders in our school community to contact our lawmakers and attend educational forums to show support of our public schools. By working together, we can convince Albany that these proposed measures are not in the best interests of our children. In doing so, we can over-come these unprecedented set of circumstances and continue to provide educational programs that meet the needs of our Sherburne-Earlville CSD community.

-Eric A. Schnabl, Superintendent

S-E's Mission Statement

Sherburne-Earlville is committed to students. By providing an environment of educational excellence which emphasizes the learning of academic and life skills, nurtures self-respect, and fosters life-long learning, we enable our students to pursue challenging individual goals and to become positive, contributing members of society.
 
Resources for Teachers, Parents and Community Members- Help take action! 

Gap Elimination Adjustment Explained

The Gap Elimination Adjustment (GEA) law was first introduced for the 2010-2011 fiscal year as a way to help close New York’s then $10 billion budget deficit. Under the legislation, a portion of the funding shortfall at the state level is divided among all school districts throughout the state and reflected as a reduction in school district state aid. GEA is money that is deducted from state aid originally promised to school districts based on state aid formulas. Essentially, it’s a "take-back" by the state of aid originally due to school districts.

Contact your state elected officials

The Honorable Andrew M. Cuomo

Governor of New York State
State Capitol Building
Albany, NY 12224
518.474.8390
http://www.governor.ny.gov/contact


Assemblyman Gary D. Finch

District Office
69 South Street
Auburn, NY 13201
315.255.3045

Albany Office
LOB 448
Albany, NY 12248
518.455.5878
 
Assemblyman William Magee

District Office
214 Farrier Avenue
Oneida, NY 13421
315.361.4125
Oneonta Phone
607-432-1484

Albany Office
LOB 828
Albany, NY 12248
518.455.4807
 
Senator James L. Seward

District Office 1
41 South Main Street
Oneonta, NY 13820

District Office 2
235 N. Prospect Street
Herkimer, NY 13350
315.866.1632

District Office 3
4030 West Rd.
Cortlandville, NY 13045
607.758.9005

Albany Office
172 State Street Room 430, Capital
Albany, NY 12247
518.455.3131
 
Senator David J. Valesky

District Office
333 East Washington Street
805 State Office Building
Syracuse, NY 13202
315.478.8745
Fax: 315.474.3804

Albany Office
172 State Street LOB Room 311
Albany, NY 12247
518.455.2838
Fax: 518.426.6885
Email:valesky@senate.state.ny.us
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