ROCKLAND COUNTY, N.Y. - The State Legislature could to vote on a bill this Thursday that will bring $3 million into the East Ramapo School District, continue the appointment of monitors, and give the education commissioner oversight of the district's budget.
Rockland Assemblyman Ken Zebrowski, Assemblywoman Ellen Jaffee, and State Sen. David Carlucci managed to introduce the bill on June 13 in the state legislature.
"I think it turns a real corner in East Ramapo," Carlucci said Tuesday over the phone of the bill if it were to pass. He described the bill as a partnership between the State Department of Education and the Board of Education.
If the bill passes, the district will receive an additional $3 million from the state to restore programs that were cut, such as full-day Kindergarten and extracurricular activities, and could be used to reduce class sizes, Carlucci said.
The district and the monitors-who will be appointed for one year-will be required to come up with a spending plan for the new funds as well.
Additional oversight will also come from the Commissioner of Education. If the bill were to pass, the district would be required to submit their budget to the Commissioner of Education, who will have "binding authority" to make recommendations.
The uniqueness of East Ramapo, a district with around 30,000 students, 24,000 of which do not attend the public schools, and the outpouring of support for its students helped gain support for the bill in Albany, Carlucci said.
A joint press release on Tuesday from all three Rockland legislators included approval of the additional resources to be provided by the bill from Superintendent Dr. Deborah Wortham and School Board President Yehuda Weissmanl.
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