After the conclusion of session and the Senates failure to pass a legislative solution for the troubled East Ramapo School District, I have called on the State Education Department (SED) and the State Comptroller to take necessary and swift action regarding oversight in the district.
This week, I sent a letter to State Education Commissioner Elia requesting that the department install a temporary monitor to be in the district on a day-to-day basis as we continue to work toward a long-term solution. I recommended that SED model this after the appointment of Hank Greenberg and allow this monitor to be on the ground, and in the district, for an appropriate amount of time to better understand the daily operations and provide an in-depth analysis of the districts policies. The monitor would have similar powers that were laid out in our oversight legislation, with responsibilities that would include: attendance at board meetings and executive session, access to the districts documents, the ability to hold public hearings, the ability to provide feedback on board decisions, and the power to publicly object to board decisions that the monitor deems inappropriate. The monitor would be easily accessible for parents, students, and teachers to express their concerns to, allowing another set of eyes in the district to improve community relations.
In addition, I sent a letter to Comptroller DiNapoli requesting that his office conduct a forensic audit of the district to determine whether there has been any fraud or misappropriation of funds over the years. This type of thorough financial review will help identify any areas of concern and provide recommendations on how to improve the districts finances. I believe this multi-faceted oversight framework is the best approach and look forward to working together with SED and the State Comptroller to improve the district and restore educational opportunity for students.
To view Letter to Comptroller Regarding East Ramapo Central School District, click here.
To view Letter to SED Commissioner Regarding East Ramapo Central School District, click here.