No Deal Reached in East Ramapo Oversight Bill

Late Thursday into early Friday morning, the state Senate and Assembly adjourned without reaching a compromise on the East Ramapo oversight bill much to the disappointment of local officials and maligned community parents and students. Assemblymember Ken Zebrowski commented on the reason the Republican-led Senate stalled any passage by saying, “I think the state Senate leadership turned its back on East Ramapo’s children. We felt we had a sound and reasonable approach to the issue. However, recognizing the Senate’s opposition, we attempted to negotiate. But at the end of the day, the Senate refused to authorize a monitor that had authority over anything other than state or federal law.” Zebrowski along with Assemblywoman Ellen Jaffee refused to accept the revised bill brought by the Senate which would limit the state appointed monitor’s power and and override the elected school board. Acknowledging the issues within the district, Republican Senate Majority leader John Flanagan believed that the involvement of the state education department and Comptroller’s office would not infringe on state and federal law but still provide assistance for the troubled district. Governor Andrew Cuomo and Assembly Speaker Carl Heastie both supported the state appointed monitor and looked to next year’s legislative session to seek out a meaningful solution. The Office of Senator David Carlucci released a statement late Thursday evening regarding the impasse and addressed the two reports from earlier this week which outlined the deficiencies of the East Ramapo education system and his next steps, “Although I am disappointed with the outcome of this year’s legislative session, the report released earlier this week by the State Education Department provides another course of action. I will be strongly urging SED to do what it is legally required to, and act on its own reports of failure within East Ramapo.”

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