Hempstead superintendent to gain more power

Hempstead Schools Superintendent Susan Johnson is set to gain more power over school staffing and curriculum without any say from the board.

Plans were laid out Monday night to fix Hempstead's middle school and high school after the state Board of Regents identified them as "persistently struggling schools" and put them in receivership.

Johnson was hired as superintendent just over two years ago and has already been fired from the same position twice before. The state's decision to put her in charge is not being well received by many.

"I think that's a lot of power to have for one person," says parent Arit Ekong.

Board member Gwen Jackson agrees.

"As a new board member, I feel very slighted," says Jackson. "My training stressed how important the board is in setting a vision and being overseers of the district."

Superintendent Johnson refused to let News 12 attend Monday night's public meeting. She also refused to take questions after the meeting had ended.

Officials say the high school has one year to show improvement under local supervision. The middle school has two years.

If they do not succeed, officials say they face takeover by a third party, which could be an individual or a nonprofit.

News 12 made several attempts to reach Susan Johnson, but calls were not returned.

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