Jaffee, Zebrowski, Carlucci Joint Statement on East Ramapo Monitors’ Report

October 12, 2017

Pearl River, NY – Based on the October 2017 Monitors Report, Balanced Budget: A Report on the East Ramapo Central School District, it’s clear that the District is continuing to move in a positive direction, implementing strategic academic and fiscal improvement plans and more effectively managing its resources.

We thank the State Education Department, Commissioner Elia, and the Monitors and congratulate stakeholders, the Board and District Leadership for their ongoing work to restore academic excellence by strengthening programs that include art, music, and other curricular enhancements from full-day kindergarten to “High School Graduation and Readiness for College and Careers.”

While the report paints an improved picture of the fiscal health of the District, including infrastructure improvements, more work lies ahead of us in providing a long-term solution that addresses the complex challenges and unique needs of all students and families in the District.

To maintain the momentum and continue the progress we’ve made, we look forward to working with the Governor to include the necessary oversight and additional funding in the 2018 proposed budget.

Assemblywoman Jaffee (D-Suffern) said, “While I support the Monitors’ recommendations to improve instruction, transparency and communication, including creating a Budget Advisory Committee, I have concerns regarding community representation and the appointment process. As we move forward prior to the Legislative Session in January, I will be sitting down with the Monitors, my colleagues, and the community to discuss implementing these recommendations. Providing excellence in education for all our students remains a top priority, and I will continue working to foster a positive environment, enhance transparency, and secure additional funding.”

Assemblyman Zebrowski (D-New City) said, “The Monitors’ report highlights the progress that the district has made over the past several years as well as the work that must still be accomplished. Despite the program restorations and infrastructure investments, more needs to be done in bridging the gap that continues to divide the East Ramapo community. The Monitors’ recommendations will provide much needed transparency on the budget process by engaging all sides in these critical decisions. I want to ensure that the “Budget Advisory Committee” has equitable representation from the public and is structured in a manner that solicits productive dialogue. I also support the recommendations on text book accountability and the focus on creating efficiencies in non-public transportation; one of the fastest growing portions of the district’s budget. I want to thank the Monitors and the State Education Department for their dedication in improving the district for the benefit of the students.”

Senator David Carlucci (D-Rockland/Westchester) said, "The latest report from the Monitors' highlights many of the challenges we have overcome as a community in recent years but shows that we still have much to accomplish. We must keep the momentum of recent successes in East Ramapo going and I have absolute confidence that we will. We look forward to working together to make sure the Monitors' recommendations are implemented and that we continue to improve the quality of education for all our children."