OSC Report Released on East Ramapo Schools

New York State Comptroller’s Office released a report Tuesday defining the progress East Ramapo School officials have made in regards to two previous audits in August 2011 and July 2013 and the OSCs recommendations for improvements. State Senator David Carlucci, Assemblyman Kenneth Zebrowski and Assemblywoman Ellen Jaffe recommended a follow up audit and a review of the school officials progress on the recommendations was made in January 2016. In a letter to Interim Superintendent of Schools Deborah L. Wortham and Members of the Board of Education, Deputy Comptroller Gabriel F. Deyo wrote, “it appears that the District has made limited progress on implementing corrective action.” The audit shed light on the fact that the district had not properly budgeted for spending over the last three fiscal years – underfunding two years and overfunding another. According to state Comptroller Thomas DiNapoli, of the 16 recommendations made the district fully implemented only two and partially implemented eight. DiNapoli said that in order to “avoid a worsening financial situation” the school board “must do a better job at managing finances”. Last Thursday the Legislature approved a one-year bill that would provide $3M in state aid to provide programs and services in exchange for greater state oversight on the East Ramapo schools. School Board President Yehuda Weissmandl agreed, “there is more work to do.” He said in a statement that “as a result of our close collaboration with state monitors and as a result of recently approved funding from the state” he believed school officials would be able to take action on the outstanding recommendations. Zebrowski issued a statement that he is “hopeful that the oversight bill” will “enable the monitors and commissioner to institute necessary reforms.” Governor Andrew M. Cuomo now has 30 days to sign the measure into law.

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