Sunday, June 21, 2015

Update on East Ramapo

This came in from State Senator David Carlucci

David Carlucci for NY

I wanted to share with you an editorial published in the Journal News, and also provide you with an update on recent developments involving the East Ramapo School District oversight legislation. 
Last week, the Senate Republican leadership made it clear to me that the East Ramapo oversight bill I had worked on with Assemblyman Zebrowski and Assemblywoman Jaffee would not be brought to the Senate floor for a vote. After months of lobbying and countless meetings with teachers, advocates, and legislative colleagues, many in the Senate Republican leadership still expressed concerns about the legislation. I was left with two options; attempt to negotiate a compromise, or leave session with nothing passed and allow for yet another year with no help for the children of East Ramapo. Because the 2015 legislative session was originally scheduled to end Wednesday, June 17th, last Sunday was the deadline for submitting new legislation for consideration before session ended, leaving us very little time to work on a new bill. After negotiating with Senate Leadership and working in consultation with East Ramapo advocates, I introduced a new bill based on what Senate Republican leadership informed me they would accept. Working with Assemblymembers Jaffee and Zebrowski, I drafted amendments to get the language of the new bill as close to our original bill as possible. The amended bill provides oversight and real time monitoring. There are strict timelines and deadlines for appeals, and the New York State Education Department will work closely with the monitor to evaluate the measurable progress within academic programs. Additionally, the $5 million in education grants is a lock box that is to be allocated by the Commissioner of Education. It is not in anyway a blank check. I understand and share the frustration that many throughout our community have expressed over the past several days, and I want to make it clear that I have always supported our original bill. My intent was, and always will be, to help the students, parents, and teachers who I have worked with since my first day in office. I will not stop advocating for their needs, and I will do everything within my power to find a solution. I'm in full agreement that this bill is not as strong as my original bill, however, it is a start to get East Ramapo moving in the right direction. Some of us may disagree on the process of how that is done, but we all agree that every child in East Ramapo deserves action as soon as possible.

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David Carlucci
New York State Senator

38th Senate District

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