East Ramapo kept to the schedule it submitted to the New York State Education Department in mid January and on Friday paid a portion of its outstanding bill to Rockland BOCES. Mary Jean Marsico, BOCES superintendent, reported that a check was received from East Ramapo for $1,670,530.05 on Friday afternoon. The district had fallen behind in its payments and at the beginning of the year owed BOCES $5 million.
Marsico stated the $1,670,530.05 represents payment for November programs and services received by East Ramapo. It also covered administrative and capital charges for the month of September that included a payment of $182,303 to Southern Westchester BOCES.
Rockland BOCES Director of Communications Stephanie Gouss explained Southern Westchester BOCES provides the technology infrastructure that is utilized by most school districts in Rockland and Westchester counties. Gouss thought the payment of $182,303 was equal to the monthly fee that East Ramapo owes to the Lower Hudson Regional Information Center.
The district, which sends 252 students to BOCES, still owes for the month of December. Next week, the bill for January services will be sent out. At that time, East Ramapo will be in arrears for approximately $3 million to BOCES, which will also include the fee for the technology services. Gouss said BOCES has not heard from the state Education Department about its review of East Ramapo’s proposed payment plan.
The timeline submitted by the district anticipated monthly payments to BOCES continuing through September 2013. 176 of East Ramapo’s students are enrolled in special education classes and 76 are registered with the career education program.
Gouss said the other Rockland districts have been adhering to their contracts.
“So far the districts have been really good and paying their bills on time,” she said.
But as finances continue to get tighter with the two percent property tax cap in place and shrinking reserve funds, there is a concern that other districts may also consider paying their bills late.