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East Ramapo Central School District Faces Setback as Superintendent Selection Overruled

In a surprising turn of events last week, the East Ramapo Central School District’s Board of Education’s unanimous decision to appoint a new Superintendent was overridden by Dr. Shelley Jallow, the New York State Department of Education’s Monitor for Academics for the district. Despite the Board’s efforts to select a candidate through a comprehensive and inclusive process, Dr. Jallow exercised her veto power, a move that has sparked considerable debate within the community.

The East Ramapo Central School District, which is overseen by two state-appointed monitors—one for finances and Dr. Jallow for academics—had embarked on a meticulous search for a new leader. The selected candidate, a highly qualified Latina who is bilingual and has previous experience working within the district, was seen as a significant asset to the community and the district’s future. Described by many as well-respected and capable, her appointment was anticipated to be a pivotal step forward for the cash-strapped district, which faces numerous challenges.

The Board of Education had engaged a reputable search firm to ensure a thorough selection process, involving community stakeholders and state monitors at every stage. Their efforts culminated in the selection of a candidate who they believed would drive substantial progress in meeting the educational needs of all students within the district.

However, Dr. Jallow’s veto, which came unexpectedly after the Board’s vote, has put a halt to these plans. Despite having opportunities to express her reservations before the Board’s decision, Dr. Jallow remained silent until the vote was finalized. Her sole objection has raised questions about the timing and basis of her decision, especially given the extensive and transparent nature of the selection process.

The Board of Education expressed its disappointment, emphasizing the depth of their search and the broad support the candidate garnered from the community and stakeholders. This decision has not only derailed the appointment of a candidate seen as a beacon of hope for the district but also raised concerns about the efficacy of the monitoring process and its impact on the district’s governance and future.

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