Clarkstown School District and State Education Department (SED)
officials met on Monday to discuss the district’s appeal of the state’s denial
of funds for repairs to Congers Elementary School. Assemblyman Ken Zebrowski,
who helped arrange the meeting but did not attend it, said the state did not
change its decision.
Zebrowski said the meeting gave both groups the opportunity to discuss their positions and their differing views on enrollment capacity in the district.
“SED continues to believe at this point there is a capacity within the school district and some extra classrooms,” he said.
The district and SED vary over the number of available classrooms in the schools. At Thursday’s school board meeting officials said there were less than 10 while SED’s count is much higher. Part of the difference is how classrooms used part of the time for art courses or other types of instruction are counted in the analysis.
Zebrowski said he will work on scheduling additional meetings and conference calls directly with SED this week.
“I don’t know if there will be a full resolution before Tuesday’s meeting,” he said, adding that he will use all avenues available to him to push the state to give Clarkstown the reimbursement funds.
Zebrowski and Senator David Carlucci have both been advocating on the district’s behalf and sent a letter to SED officials last week. School Superintendent Dr. J. Thomas Morton could not be reached for comment on the meeting.
The district applied for funding equal to 55 percent of the cost of repairs. Clarkstown voters will cast ballots on a proposed $6.5 million bond on Tuesday, Feb. 4. The school was closed in August because of unsafe conditions.
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