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Regional school funding advocacy forum scheduled for Feb. 5

Photo illustration of road sign that reads Our Schools At RiskStakeholders from 33 school districts will converge on North Syracuse Junior High School on Feb. 5, to draw attention to the ongoing fiscal crisis facing public schools and learn how to advocate for equitable funding.
The event, “Our Schools Remain at Risk!,’’ is being coordinated by the Central New York School Boards Association and Onondaga-Cortland-Madison and CiTi (Oswego) BOCES on behalf of the students, families and community members in the districts that make up the two BOCES regions. (Click here to view the event flyer.)
The goal of the forum is to bring community members together for a lively, informative and motivating forum that will let them know what is at stake if state leaders do not eradicate the Gap Elimination Adjustment (GEA) and develop a funding formula that provides adequate, equitable and sustainable funding for New York’s schools. The featured speaker will be Dr. Rick Timbs, executive director of the Statewide School Finance Consortium.
The GEA law was first introduced for the 2010-11 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. Since the GEA began, Marcellus Central Schools have lost more than $9 million in state aid.
The two-hour program begins at 6:30 p.m. at North Syracuse Junior High School, 5353 W. Taft Road in North Syracuse. Marcellus Central School District residents concerned about their children, schools and community are encouraged to attend.

For those who are unable to make the Feb. 5 date, an identical forum will be held Feb. 3 at Auburn West Middle School, 217 Genesee St., Auburn, for school districts in the Cayuga-Onondaga and Tompkins-Seneca-Tioga BOCES. All are welcome to attend either forum.


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