Lawmaker proposes new version of school oversight bill

A state senator has introduced a new version of the oversight bill that would provide even stricter oversight of the Orthodox Jewish-run East Ramapo School Board.

State Sen. David Carlucci, whose district includes the embattled East Ramapo Central School District, unveiled the bill Monday in Albany. In addition to installing a 10th school board member with veto power, Carlucci wants to require the board to submit its annual budgets to the state comptroller before being adopted each year. This would ensure that the budget is fiscally sound, Carlucci says.

The state Assembly recently passed its own version of the bill, but it faces an uncertain future in the Senate, where many Republicans say they fear the consequences of giving anyone the power to oversee a democratically elected school board.

Gov. Andrew Cuomo addressed the stalemate this past weekend by saying, "Everything is held up now. The way it works in a legislative season; nothing moves until everything moves."

Agudath Israel of America, the largest Orthodox Jewish organization, has slammed the Senate's version of the bill, calling it "blatant anti-Semitism."

Supporters say the bill is crucial to ensuring that thousands of minority students receive a proper education.

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