RAMAPO, N.Y. -- Gov. Andrew Cuomo signed a bill into law Thursday that will give the state greater oversight over the troubled East Ramapo school district and provides an additional $3 million to restore programs that were cut, such as full-day kindergarten and extracurricular activities.
The bill also provides for the district to appoint monitors and calls for the district to develop a spending plan for the new funds.
The uniqueness of East Ramapo, a district with around 30,000 students, with about two-thirds attending yeshivas or other nonpublic schools, and the outpouring of support from residents and parents helped move the bill to the governor's desk.
“Today, I thank Gov. Cuomo for signing this vital piece of legislation into law," said state Sen. David Carlucci. "With the enactment of this legislation, we are providing effective oversight over the district to ensure that resources are being utilized in the most appropriate way, by having monitors on the ground and empowering the commissioner with the ability to make binding recommendations as well as $3 million fund to be controlled by the commissioner to restore vital services and programs, we are turning a corner and making a positive impact for the students of East Ramapo.
"Working closely with my colleagues and the dedicated advocates throughout the community, I was proud to pass this legislation, which will allow for public feedback in future funding projects, budgetary oversight provided by the commissioner of education and the continuation of appointed monitors on the ground."
Under the bill, additional supervision will also come from the c ommissioner of education, who will have oversight of the district's budget and appoint the three monitors, as well as have the ability to make recommendations.
Rockland Assemblyman Ken Zebrowski, who helped introduce the bill said: “I am pleased that the governor has signed our East Ramapo agreement into law today. This approval moves us one step closer to restoring critical programs for students that will be sitting in classrooms come September. The proposal puts in place strong oversight including binding budget recommendations by the commissioner and the presence of monitors on a day-to-day basis."
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