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A05683 Summary:

Amd §§3 - 8, add §§9 - 13, Chap 89 of 2016
Relates to the powers and duties of monitors in the East Ramapo central school district.
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A05683 Memo:

submitted in accordance with Assembly Rule III, Sec 1(f)
SPONSOR: Zebrowski
  TITLE OF BILL: An act to amend chapter 89 of the laws of 2016 relating to supplementary funding for dedicated programs for public school students in the East Ramapo central school district, in relation to the powers and duties of monitors in the East Ramapo central school district   PURPOSE OF THE BILL: This bill will expand the powers and responsibilities of the oversight monitors in the East Ramapo central school district   SUMMARY OF PROVISIONS: Section one of the bill amends sections 3 of chapter 89 of 2016 as it relates to reducing the number of monitors from 3 to 2 and requiring the school district to be responsible for all necessary and reasonable expenses of the monitors including indemnifying the monitors to the same extent as a school district employee. Section two of the bill amends section 4,6,7, and 8 of chapter 89 of 2016 as it relates to: - requiring resolutions and motions to be taken up at a board meeting be shared with the monitors prior to the meetings - requiring the board to adopt a conflict of interest policy - override decisions or proposed resolutions if they violate state' law, regulation or are inconsistent with the long term strategic academic and fiscal improvement plan - empowering the monitors to direct the board to undergo training - power to approve or disapprove an appointment of a superintendent - realigns the budget review process to allow the monitor sufficient time to provide recommendations - requires regular reporting from the board and the monitors. The bill provides that the commissioner may overrule any decision by the moni- tors. In addition, the bill extends the effectiveness of the monitor law for an additional four years to 2025. Section three of the bill amends section 5 of chapter 89 of 2016 as it relates to clarifying the scope of the long term strategic academic and fiscal improvement plan. Section four of the bill relates to the effective date.   DIFFERENCE BETWEEN ORIGINAL AND AMENDED VERSION (IF APPLICABLE): The amendments make some technical changes including requiring notice to the board in instances where reporting deadlines are nbt met, created a new community advisory board and changes the effective period.   JUSTIFICATION: In 2016, the State installed monitors in the East Ramapo school district to provide oversight and assistance. Throughout the past five years of the law, it has become clear that additional powers for the monitors are necessary to provide meaningful oversight that benefits the students. In 2020, a Federal District Court Judge and the 2nd Circuit Court of Appeals confirmed in great detail discrimination against the minority public school community. The rulings highlighted many glaring and disturbing examples of instances where the district was unresponsive to the public school community. The East Ramapo school district is in crisis, and additional oversight is necessary to protect these kids. This bill will provide the oversight the students and parents in this district deserve, and have deserved for years. Currently, the monitors have.limited authority in ensuring the board is acting in the best interest of the students and the fiscal stability of the district. This bill would provide the appropriate tools to the moni- tors in order to restore the public's trust in the board and improve district operations.   PRIOR LEGISLATIVE HISTORY: New bill.   FISCAL IMPLICATIONS FOR STATE: To be determined.   EFFECTIVE DATE: This act shall take effect immediately.
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