PRESS RELEASE FEB 18, 2015
Today, my colleagues Senator David Carlucci, Assemblywoman
Ellen Jaffee and I announced
that we have introduced legislation (A.5355/S.3821) to
appoint a State Monitor to the East Ramapo School District.
The legislation comes in response to Fiscal Monitor Hank
Greenberg’s recommendations that called for strong oversight
in the school district. The State Monitor will be on the
ground, in the district for the next five years, providing
necessary oversight to get back on track.
Below are the highlights of the legislation, including the
various responsibilities of the proposed
State Monitor. A copy of the actual bill can be found
The State Monitor would oversee the district’s
financial and operational management to
ensure that the school district moves towards fiscal
responsibility and academic excellence.
The monitor will attend all board meetings (including
executive session) ensuring that the
Board is operating in accordance with Open Meetings Law.
The legislation requires that the Monitor develop a
five year strategic academic and fiscal improvement plan
within six months of being appointed. The plan will set
goals to improve district operations, financial stability,
and academic opportunities including benchmarks to measure
the district’s progress. The Monitor must set up at least
one public hearing, considering comments from the public,
before submitting a final plan. The final plan will then be
presented to the Board along with input received from the
Hank Greenberg’s report also called for an oversight
mechanism that would allow the Monitor to overturn
unreasonable Board or Superintendent decisions. The
legislation provides the Monitor with the ability to
overturn Board or Superintendent decisions if they find it
to be in the best interest of the students or to implement
of the five year plan. The Monitor must issue a directive to
override an action detailing its necessity. The Monitor’s
decision is final and conclusive. They will also have the
power to propose a course of action or resolution to the
Board if deemed necessary.
The Board may appeal a State Monitor’s decision if
they allege it to be in violation of education law, the
rules of the Board of Regents, State education regulations
or the terms of the five year improvement plan. Appeals will
be held through an impartial hearing through the State
The Monitor will also be required to publish an
annual report on the progress of the district that will be
made available to the public. The report shall include a
progress report on achieving the strategic improvement
plan’s goals, the current financial situation, and other
important district matters.
At the end of the Monitor’s appointment, they will
issue a final report that will provide long-term
recommendations to improve the district. The appointment
will last for an initial period of at least five years, and
the Commissioner of Education can extend the period for up
to ten years if necessary.
In addition, my colleagues and I are committed to
providing additional funding, linked to oversight, to the
school district either through a grant or State Aid formula
The goal of this legislation is to fix the crisis in the
East Ramapo School District. The appointed
State Monitor will be another set of eyes in the district,
working in the best interest of the students
and restoring parent’s trust in their children’s education.
The Monitor will help the district get back
on track, improving the financial situation while ensuring
the educational opportunities for students.
East Ramapo is the second most fiscally stressed school
district in the State. This kind of oversight
is necessary to change that.
look forward to working with the Monitor, the Board,
parents, and the entire community in
ensuring that this legislation is swiftly passed and that
East Ramapo’s success is guaranteed.
If you have any questions or comments regarding any aspects
of the legislation, please do not
hesitate to contact my office.