Strong East Ramapo 5/27/17: ER School Budget Revised by Superintendent Focuses on Public School Needs

Andrew Mandel writes:

Hi everyone,

The Superintendent’s revisions to the failed May 16 budget are correctly focused on critical student needs; the question is: will the budget change between now and June 6 (when it is due to the Commissioner), and will voters approve it on June 20?

On Thursday night, the Superintendent presented a budget that puts improving education as its laser-like priority, just like the law requires. This budget — which includes critical investments in English language learning, special education and summer learning — does not break the tax cap.

While Rivkie Feiner, a non-public school advocate, voiced her desire to see more busing as part of the budget, the proposal does not include additional non-mandated non-public transportation. State Commissioner Elia had previously rejected such a line item given the law that says the budget needs to focus on expanding educational programming. Let’s hope that the non-public school community can appreciate the desperate need for all of the educational improvements in this year’s budget; the district could attempt to find ways to include additional days of non-public transportation through means that don’t cost additional money, such as aligning calendars better. Non-public school families also ought to be reminded that they are already getting benefits above and beyond what the law requires, not having “streamlined” busing with one drop-off and pick-up time like Ramapo Central School District.

Please send Dr. Wortham ( your support of the budget she presented on Thursday. The district still needs to officially adopt this budget, and the Commissioner needs to agree as well.  According to the Journal News, the monitors are supportive of the superintendent’s revised budget: The district’s state-appointed monitor Charles Szuberla said reintroducing busing into the budget “does need to be a discussion in future years” but for now the district needs to focus on rebuilding public schools. John Sipple, also a monitor, agreed, saying, “We need to move forward and we need to reinvest.”
Taken directly from the slides shown last night, the budget includes:

• Expand Summer Learning (Grades 2-8)
• Maintain Full-Day Kindergarten
• Expand “The Arts” Instruction (3 Teachers)
• Expand ENL and Bilingual Instruction (5 Teachers)
• Includes Academic Standards Facilitators

• Includes Summer Learning (Music)
• Includes The Arts Instruction
• Expands ENL Instruction (3 Teachers)
• Includes Academic Standards Facilitators
• Expand Kakiat STEAM to Grade 8
• Balance Enrollment

High School:
• Effective Instruction (8 teachers)
• Reframing Food Services Delivery
• Teacher Collaborative Model
• Academic Standards Facilitators
• Expand ENL and Bilingual Instruction (4 Teachers)

Special Education:
•Increase Collaborative Classes
•Grades 3-12
•24 Classes
• Increase Clinical Services
•Speech and Language, Occupational, Behavior Specialists

Strong East Ramapo
twitter: StrongERamapo

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