SPRING VALLEY, N.Y. (CBSNewYork) — The financially troubled East Ramapo School District will soon add a fiscal monitor, according to a report.
Gov. Andrew Cuomo called for the creation of the position and recommended Albany attorney Hank Greenberg, who has served as the special investigator for test integrity and is a former counsel to Cuomo when the governor was attorney general, WCBS 880’s Marla Diamond reported.
The state Education Department said Tuesday it will indeed install Greenberg as the fiscal monitor, The Journal News reported.
“The department has been working closely with East Ramapo to try to address the district’s serious fiscal issues, and the appointment of a fiscal monitor is the next step in those efforts,” state Education Commissioner John King said in a statement.
Stephen White, a parent activist, applauded the move. He told Diamond that since his son began attending East Ramapo schools, he has seen the quality of education decline, music programs get axed and class sizes balloon.
“I think this is a long time coming,” White said. “It’s overdue.
“The school district has been focused on meeting the needs of the yeshivas, and at the expense of everyone else.”
East Ramapo’s nine-member school board is controlled by Orthodox Jewish and Hasidic men.
Oscar Cohen, a retired school administrator who chairs the education committee of the NAACP’s Spring Valley chapter, is among many in East Ramapo who have been calling for intervention.
“East Ramapo is the highest percentage of children of color, and East Ramapo is providing the fewest educational services compared to the other seven school districts in Rockland County, so something isn’t right,” Cohen told Diamond.
The school district did not comment on the governor’s action but has said in the past the real problem is an inequitable state aid formula that doesn’t account for the district’s unusually large population of private school students.
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