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Participate in advocacy Blitz Week, February 24-28

Blitz WeekNew York State has taken $12 million in promised school aid from Monticello over the past four years. It's time to let our elected officials know we want it back.

February 24, 2014 - Gov. Andrew Cuomo’s proposed investment in New York State schools would increase by $807 million or 3.8 percent next school year, but his budget plan still fails to address the underlying problem facing many school districts – the Gap Elimination Adjustment or GEA.

Why the push to end GEA now?

The month of February is a critical time in the state's annual budget process. It is during February that Legislative Review and Hearings begin on the Governor's budget.

The Legislature holds a series of budget hearings on the Governor’s proposal. The hearings cover the major areas of the budget, such as taxes, health, education, higher education, state workforce and mental hygiene. Each hearing begins with the relevant State commissioner testifying about his or her agency’s budget. Following this testimony, interest groups and individuals testify regarding the proposed budget.

By publicly highlighting issues of concern, budget hearings can be extremely important. The hearings require Commissioners to defend their budgets in public, creating an opportunity to gain legislative or media attention on an issue that is important to your constituency. Often times, advocate groups will recommend questions for legislators to ask.

This is the time to tell legislators they need to fight for our schools by ending the GEA! Our school district simply can't afford to lose millions of funding every year to a measure designed to close the state's budget gap - a gap the Governor himself says doesn't exist anymore.

How will Fair Funding's "Blitz Week" help?

The advocacy group "Fair Funding for Our Schools" has put together a week's worth of advocacy actions that anyone can do from their laptop or mobile device, and has asked every school district in the Hudson Valley - across seven counties - to participate.

If our local legislators hear the message loud enough from enough of their constituents, they will be motivated enough to make sure schools get the aid that is promised to them and END THE GEA NOW.

To make the campaign to end the GEA successful, we need EVERYONE to participate each day for five days.

Mark your calendar now - set your reminders - make it a priority to participate in Blitz Week every day.

Start on Monday, Feb. 24, by emailing a message to your New York State senator. Click on "Email Monday" in the box above, right. Missed Monday? Send it anyway!

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