School board votes to suspend Wyandanch's schools superintendent with pay

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For months, parents in the school district have been demanding the removal of Wyandanch schools' superintendent-- last night, their calls were answered.

Mary Jones, 14-year veteran superintendent of the cash-strapped Wyandanch School District, has been suspended with pay after a school board vote.

The administrative shakeup comes as the district is mired in financial turmoil. It's the only district on Long Island that failed to win voter support of its 2019-20 budgets on May 21 and again in a June 18 revote.

As a result, Wyandanch is operating on a bare-bones $69 million contingency budget, and recently announced the layoffs of 30 teachers, as well as dozens of other employees.

Residents say they blames Jones for the district's financial mess.

"It was in regards to her mismanagement and misuse of funds, her incompetence and basically her lack of care for the position of the office of superintendent," says Jarod Morris.

Nathan Jones, the district's spokesperson, says the board ousted Jones because it wanted to go in a different direction.

"There was no mismanagement. There was no theft, like people were saying. Those kinds of things get you locked up. But they did want a fresh look," says Nathan Jones.

According to the state Education Department, Mary Jones' salary is $230,000.

"Why do we have to pay this lady? She was sitting in the chair doing absolutely nothing. She never cared about the kids," says Renee Legette, whose son starts third grade in the district in a few weeks.

Mary Jones' suspension comes as state legislators approved a bill that would authorize a special monitor for the district. Gov. Andrew Cuomo has not said whether he plans to sign the bill into law.

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