Hempstead school board member to resign

The Hempstead school district has been systematically changing The Hempstead school district has been systematically changing some students' failing final course grades into passing grades. (Jun. 22, 2013) Photo Credit: Anthony Lanzilote

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Hempstead schools trustee Waylyn Hobbs announced plans Wednesday to resign from his post after a year on the board.

Hobbs, who served as first vice president of the school board, said he plans to submit his resignation on July 15.

His announcement came a day after the board's annual reorganization meeting Tuesday, when Betty Cross was reappointed president by a 3-2 vote. Hobbs and trustee Shelley Brazley voted against her appointment. Hobbs said the board needs leadership, but he would not directly link his resignation to Cross' reappointment.

"I'm resigning because I feel that with the state of the district and the work that is going to be necessary to see improvement and changes, it is definitely going to require more time and someone to dedicate more time," Hobbs said.

Hobbs, 51, was elected Hempstead Village trustee in March and was later appointed deputy mayor. The board would have to appoint a replacement, he said.

Cross said he has not informed her of his plans. "We'll wait until July 15, and we wish him well," she said.

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Hempstead has been one of Long Island's worst-performing school systems. Last month, Carlos Ramirez, the district's director of technology, sent a letter to state education officials spelling out his concerns about the district's policy of raising students' failing course grades of 63 and 64 to a passing grade of 65.

Hobbs said he was not leaving due to the changes. "I believe the board has to be more transparent and communicate. I think when you inform people, you show that you have nothing to hide."

Hobbs voted against the school board's attempt to terminate Ramirez in April, but the board is expected to try again to fire him at its July 18 meeting.

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