Dear [state representative, etc.],
As a [parent, resident, teacher, etc.] from the Ravena-Coeymans-Selkirk Central School District (RCS), I am greatly concerned about the fiscal crisis that faces our education system. School district officials certainly have the onerous task of balancing the budget deficit, but it seems that the current school funding situation will erode any of the gains that we have made in prior years.
[Insert your story – talk about your kids, their dreams and expectations, etc.]
Each week I hear of another school district that has reduced or eliminated programs and positions. Currently, my district is facing a $712,361 budget deficit, even after proposing to eliminate 15.5 full time staff. The district’s shortfall is directly related to the loss of $2,819,349 in Gap Elimination Adjustments for the 2013-14 school year. Since the 2010-11 school year our district has lost a total of $11,651,854 in “promised” Foundation Aid due to the GEA. I am afraid that the students who follow our current graduating class will not receive the same quality of education.
I encourage you to look at the executive budget proposal and consider
using the $250 million earmarked for Performance Grants and the $203
million earmarked for Fiscal Stabilization Funding to reduce the Gap
Elimination Adjustment for school districts. I know that at RCS these
additional funds would enable the district to save staff, programs and
continue to improve instruction for our students.
As my [state representative], please take these facts into account
and lobby your leadership to reduce or eliminate the Gap Elimination
Adjustment when negotiating the 2013-14 State Budget. If kids really do
matter, it is time for action now.
Thank you for your time and consideration.
[Your association to school district]