Senator O’Brien Supports Closing Gap Elimination Adjustment with BNP Paribas

Bank Settlement Funds
Will stabilize school funding, reduce property tax burden

ROCHESTER, N.Y. – Senator Ted O’Brien announced his support for ending the Gap Elimination Adjustment
and restoring public school funding to pre-recession levels using over $3 billion that New York State will receive
from a settlement with the French bank BNP Paribas. The GEA was implemented in 2010 to close massive budget
deficits caused by the national economic crisis. As a result, local school districts saw deep cuts in their state aid.
To cope with this loss in funding, districts had to cut programs and services, draw down their limited reserve
funds, and ask for property tax increases they would not otherwise have needed.

“Cuts to education funding have devastated local school districts.” Senator O’Brien said. “We’ve made progress
toward alleviating this problem, restoring school funding by $1.1 billion this year alone. But to ensure long-term
stability for our schools and pave the way for lasting property tax relief we have to eliminate the GEA. However
the GEA has reduced support for education by over $10.1 billion, so we have a lot of work to do. Investing this
settlement money in education will allow us to eliminate the Gap Elimination Adjustment once and for all,
providing the opportunity for property tax relief and creating a brighter future for Upstate families.”

Jody Siegle, Executive Director to the Monroe County School Boards Association, said, "The GEA is
undermining the financial stability of school districts across our state. Using the French bank settlement money to
end the GEA would make a big difference to our state's schools, and would go a long way to helping the state
meeting its obligation to fund education so that all children have access to properly staffed and equipped schools."

Senator O’Brien has been a leading voice on a number of education issues, recently successfully lobbying the
state education department to increase transparency surrounding Common Core-based standardized tests
developed by the Pearson Corporation.


Senator O’Brien represents the 55th district in the Senate, which is made up of the eastern half of Monroe County and the
western half of Ontario County, including much of the city of Rochester.

Media contact:
Jamie Romeo
Chief of Staff
cell: (585) 831-2373

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