East Ramapo schools open amid kindergarten controversy

Wednesday marked the first day of school for children in the East Ramapo Central School District.

Wednesday marked the first day of school for children in the East Ramapo Central School District.

Wednesday marked the first day of school for children in the East Ramapo Central School District. (9/7/16)

SPRING VALLEY - Wednesday marked the first day of school for children in the East Ramapo Central School District.

As children and their parents arrived at the Kakiat Elementary School for the new academic year, they were met by state Education Commissioner MaryEllen Elia, Chuck Szuberla, the state-appointed monitor for East Ramapo, and Superintendent Deborah Wortham.

The officials were on hand to make sure the new year got off on the right foot.

Parents attended a public hearing Wednesday night addressing how to spend $3 million in state funding meant to restore programs and improve education.

A comprehensive academic and expenditure plan was drawn up with the assistance of the state-appointed monitor and was presented to the community at the meeting. It shows that just over $1.2 million has been allocated for providing full-day kindergarten and hiring extra teachers. The rest will go toward the arts.

The board must still sign off on the plan, as must the state education commissioner.

Officials say they hope to have full-day kindergarten for all students up and running by the end of September.

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