Both Houses OK Lottery “Spin-Up” Money for East Ramapo

East Ramapo may see that advance of $3.5-million dollars in state lottery money if Governor Andrew Cuomo Ok’s the bill.

On Friday, both the assembly and senate voted in the bill that will hopefully bring the struggling district closer to restoring programs for next year.  Normally, East Ramapo would receive that money September 2014, but district officials asked Senator David Carlucci this Spring to draft legislation to relese the money earlier to June 2014.

The money would be deducted from future lottery allocations over a 30-year period.

 

East Ramapo Cleans up its Act After Mold Citation

After a complaint by an East Ramapo employee that two schools in the East Ramapo School District were exposed to unhealthy air quality, leaking roofs, mold and vermin issues; inspectors were only able to find trances of mold.

Superintendent of Schools Joel Klein said Monday, that Ramapo High School and Pomona Middle School are perfectly safe, saying “the buildings are clean, they’re safe, the air quality is fine and there are no vermin.”

District Clerk Cathy Russell also confirmed that the mold issues which were required to be cleaned by July 22, have already been addressed.

Sen. Carlucci Calls East Ramapo School Board’s Bet on Lottery Aid “Fiscally Irresponsible”

State lawmakers are not happy with East Ramapo’s plan to balance next year’s budget.

David Carlucci Facebook

David Carlucci Facebook

The plan is to take a gamble with “speculative” revenue by factoring in a future $3.5-million in state lottery aid.  In order for this to materialize state lawmakers must draft a bill supporting the premature revenue, which could dramatically affect future budgets in the district.

On Wednesday, state Senator David Carlucci called the plan “fiscally irresponsible” saying he is, “greatly disappointed in the school board in the way that they adopted their budget because they included revenue that doesn’t exist.”

Last week, Carlucci met with East Ramapo Superintendent of Schools Joel Klein to create a “lottery spin-up” bill that his office is currently drafting.

Other state officials including Assemblyman Ken Zebrowski and Assemblywoman Ellen Jaffee had no details on the proposal and said they will discuss it with state education officials.

East Ramapo To Face Budget Shortfall

tulipsThe East Ramapo School Board is working to close in on a $2.3-million shortfall in next year’s budget. School officials presented a $212.8-million spending plan for 2013-14 yesterday. That’s up $20-million over the budget passed last year. The plan includes a tax levy increase of about 3.1-percent. The board says the increase comes under the state-mandated cap. This will be the third year East Ramapo has operated on a deficit. Last year, the district had to borrow $7.5-million to balance this year’s budget.