“The East Ramapo school board voted late Tuesday to rehire a powerful Albany lobbying firm that helped defeat an initial plan for a state monitor to oversee the troubled district. The vote came after an hour-long executive session that didn’t end until most people in the audience had left. The vote was made with no discussion. All board members voted in favor except for Sabrina Charles-Pierre, who abstained. Many parents said that the perpetually cash-strapped district should focus on spending money on education, not lobbyists.”This $42,000 should be spent on books, and pencils and rulers,” Luis Nivelo told the board. “We need this money to go to the right place.” Advocates for public school children traveled Wednesday to Albany to gather support for a monitor with veto power over the troubled district.The group met local lawmakers who pledged their support, including Assemblyman Ken Zebrowski, D-New City, Assemblywoman Ellen Jaffee, D-Suffern and state Senator David Carlucci, D-New City. Rockland County Executive Ed Day and newly elected Clarkstown Supervisor George Hoehmann, both Republicans, were also in Albany and said they would work to support a monitor for the district. “This is about bringing educational policy into the 21st century,” Carlucci said. “A monitor with veto power is really a foundation of starting to turn things around in East Ramapo, to install trust, to bridge the growing divide we have in the community.” Read the complete Journal News coverage here.
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