Assemblymember Jaffee Pleased with Monitor Team Appointment Led by Former NYC Department of Education Chancellor, Dennis Walcott

“While this temporary appointment of a highly knowledgeable team will not have veto power over Board decisions; they will, however, give us a real time look inside the East Ramapo School District and be able to make corrective suggestions that will provide the Board the opportunity to prove that they are doing the best they can.  If the Board continues to refuse financial or educational policy suggestions that would assist the public schools, I don’t see how the Senate Leadership can continue to ignore the plight of these children.

 (Pearl River, NY) – “I am pleased that SED has continued to be engaged and responsive to this situation in East Ramapo. The Team that the Commissioner has selected is highly qualified and knowledgeable on all matters of education policy and finance. This is an opportunity for the Board to prove they want to change course.

The team will be able to suggest real time corrective actions. If the Board continues to refuse financial or educational policy suggestions that would assist the public schools, I don’t see how the Senate Leadership can continue to ignore the plight of these children.

The Commissioner and the State Education Department is responding to the situation in East Ramapo in the way that is allowable to them by law. There have been suggestions that SED could do more than appoint a Monitor who can only observe and report. They have indicated that they are limited in what actions they can take.

That is why we drafted and introduced legislation last session that passed the Assembly and would have given a Monitor override power.  That legislation also provided the Monitor and team the ability to coordinate and advise the Board on education and fiscal policy. Unfortunately, the Senate Leadership would not even let it come to the floor for a vote.

I cautiously await the team’s findings in December. The actions of the Board over the next six months, conversations with SED and the team will determine what actions we take next session. I am not going away until the children of East Ramapo have the education they deserve.”