News10 in the Classroom: Gap Elimination Adjustment explained - NEWS10 ABC: Albany, New York News, Weather, Sports

News10 in the Classroom: Gap Elimination Adjustment explained

It's a phrase which we often hearwhen it comes to school districts and budgets; the "GEA", or gapelimination adjustment.

But what does it really mean?

Watervliet superintendent Dr.Lori Caplan says her district's situation is unique. It is land poor and with not alot of property, it does not have a large tax base to even consider raisingtaxes on.

Dr. Caplan says at this point,the lack of funding has left the district at the bare bones level.

"We don't have a large taxbase to begin with, so it's kind of like the perfect storm," she says.

Like so many districts in theCapital Region, Dr. Caplan has struggled with balancing the budget, taking intoaccount the property tax cap.

"I'm not going to break thebacks of my taxpayers just to make up for that gap," says Dr. Caplan.

The gap Dr. Caplan is talkingabout the gap elimination adjustment.    

It went into effect in 2010 tohelp ease the state's budget deficit by taking some money from education.The GEA has continued in everystate budget since.

Dr. Caplan says she has beenforced to reduce the district to bare bones, including job cuts, program cuts,and cuts to all sports and after-school programs at the elementary and juniorhigh level.

"With the loss of programsand with the loss of extracurricular activities, then comes student dropout," she says.

The Watervliet Arsenal is puttingon a golf tournament in September to help support the district's after schoolprograms for the students.

For information on what the GEAis, click here.

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