School Board Monitors in Lakewood & East Ramapo

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  • #616836

    Abba_S
    Participant

    In Lakewood they have a monitor who had agreed to provide courtesy busing if the yeshivas would stagger their starting and ending times. They agreed to it but it seems the Board didn’t get the savings the monitor expected and now he wants $6 million increase to the schools budget or he claims he will cut courtesy busing. I don’t think the board will back him on the increase. The board is already suing him because he change the special ed. provider so I don’t think they will back him for a tax increase.

    In East Ramapo the monitor doesn’t have veto power but the monitor who are all blacks are recommending that the monitor have veto power. This will require legislative action. Last year while it passed the Assembly but didn’t pass the Senate. Unless the State wants to fund the school district the same thing that is happening in Lakewood is going to happen ther

    #1156974

    zahavasdad
    Participant

    Do not compare Lakewoood to East Ramapo, they are different states and each state has different rules and regulations

    #1156975

    Joseph
    Participant

    Abba, if the Lakewood monitor cuts out courtesy bussing, the yeshivas can go back to opening at the same time, thus more than eliminating any savings for the board of ed, correct?

    Also, if the monitor eliminated courtesy bussing then he will also eliminate bussing for most public school students (since most of them get courtesy bussing), correct?

    And if there board doesn’t back a tax increase can the monitor veto that and propose the tax increase anyways despite the board? It will be voted down by the public even if the tax is proposed, correct?

    #1156976

    Abba_S
    Participant

    Joseph

    You are correct, the yeshivas can go back to opening the same time but the problem is the busing routes were already made for the school year and can’t be changed.

    As to the tax increase,it will be voted down both by the the elected board and the public.

    The elected board is already suing the monitor regarding a special ed provider’s contract that was vetoed by the monitor so this will only be another lawsuit which will cost the underfunded school district more. Which will mean less funds for education.

    As far as NY & NJ having different rules and regulations, NY is trying to copy NJ and give the school monitor veto power. If this happens the same thing will happen. Also, the state will be on the hook if the district is sued.

    #1156977

    gavra_at_work
    Participant

    In East Ramapo the monitor doesn’t have veto power but the monitor who are all blacks are recommending that the monitor have veto power

    What does the color of their skin have anything to do with a School monitor? As far as I am concerned, you have lost all credibility regarding whatever you think, as it is tainted by Racism.

    #1156978

    nishtdayngesheft
    Participant

    GAW,

    It may be a legitimate comment because the complaints falsely alleged that the Board discriminated against Blacks and Latinos. Would it not make send to then use what would be an objective mix?

    #1156979

    Joseph
    Participant

    The major news outlets *always* throw into their stories that all the members of the board of ed are “Orthodox Jews”. Did that cause you to lose all credibility in the NYTimes, Journal News, and the others?

    #1156980

    gavra_at_work
    Participant

    GAW,

    It may be a legitimate comment because the complaints falsely alleged that the Board discriminated against Blacks and Latinos. Would it not make send to then use what would be an objective mix?

    This IS Racism, that you automatically assume that non-whites will side with non-whites against whites no matter what (or that they have an inherent bias against non-whites?)!

    Why do you assume that the color of their skin had any influence in what they decided? I don’t believe the monitor lives in East Ramapo so that would not be a bias.

    Joseph – Yes. Hopelessly Liberal. And if that didn’t do it, the NYT front page op-ed on guns certainly did.

    #1156981

    fathousewife
    Participant

    The situation in East Ramapo is beyond frustrating. There is no way to win. The Board has made some very difficult choices with some flamingly awful PR. We are being taxed to death, and regardless of what main street spring valley seems to think have a very difficult time accessing services we are legit entitled to. In all likelihood the crux of most of the ER board choices wouldnt change no matter who was sitting there but it would be alot less of a lightning rod with other people in charge.

    #1156982

    Joseph
    Participant

    gaw, why just hopelessly liberal? By the same token it should tell you the mainstream media is anti-semitic.

    #1156983

    nishtdayngesheft
    Participant

    GAW,

    If they are accusing the board of being discriminatory solely by dint of their not being of the same makeup as the majority of public school parents, then they must be held to the same level of appearance of non discrimination.

    And you are a moron if you do not agree that the reason why this specific group was selected was in part because of their color. To make the Reverend who is buddy buddy with the anti Semite Ari Hart happy.

    You know who the bleeding heart liberals are in the NYS government.

    #1156985

    Abba_S
    Participant

    Since Racism is being brought up and they want a school monitor with veto power over the school board, how is this different then the South pre 1960s when Black Americans were denied the right to vote? The state can not discriminate against anyone based on religion but the state is only overriding the elected board in Orthodox communities. How is it not discrimination when the school board monitor is denying orthodox students busing. I guess NO STUDENT LEFT BEHIND doesn’t apply to them although it’s only a federal law.

    #1156986

    gavra_at_work
    Participant

    nishtdayngesheft:

    If they are accusing the board of being discriminatory solely by dint of their not being of the same makeup as the majority of public school parents, then they must be held to the same level of appearance of non discrimination.

    Big “If”. If that is true, then they are the racists/Anti Semitic. I doubt that is the case, but as I don’t live near there and haven’t seen the report, I await your proof.

    Abba_S – Roosevelt NY.

    #1156987

    ☕ DaasYochid ☕
    Participant

    the current NYC school board president, who happens to be white

    Racist

    #1156988

    gavra_at_work
    Participant

    DY 🙂 Thought someone would say that, though normally it would be PBA.

    I read the report online. The report only recommends that the monitor have veto power on additional funds provided by the state to address deficiencies in district funding, caused by the voter not passing needed tax increases to maintain the prior level of services. By their recommendation, the monitor would have no authority over any funds normally provided, such as property taxes.

    The Monitors recommend that $12 $15 million dollars be granted to the District. This can be implemented in 2016

    -2017 with veto power granted to a fiscal monitor or could be phased – in over three years with an initial $4 million investment from the State. The allocation would grow by $4 million per year until the $12 million level is reached. As the District (board and Superintendent)

    demonstrates sufficient fiduciary responsibility and restoration of cuts specifically outlined by the Monitors to public school programming, the additional aid would be received. The Governor and the Legislature must provide the Monitors with more time to provide oversight and must

    enhance the oversight authority, including veto power, over any new additional funds provided to the District through this mechanism.

    (emphasis added)

    This is completely different than the Lakewood situation, where the monitor has veto power over all funds.

    That being said, to dis-enfranchise voters by forcing one of the board seat in each election to be held by public school parents, although perhaps good policy for the Orthodox community there, is probably illegal.

    #1156989

    Joseph
    Participant

    I believe you’re mistaken, gaw. The proposed veto is over all actions of the board. The other sections of the report make that clear.

    #1156990

    Abba_S
    Participant

    Once the school monitor gets veto power he will use it in all cases just as in Lakewood. In Lakewood they thought, the state was going to give them an additional $6 million a year that is why they agreed to the state monitor in the first place.

    If the sole purpose for the school monitor’s veto power is for additional state funding, then the state allocation of these funds should be limited to a specific purpose ie. arts music education for example. The board can’t misuse these funds without facing criminal charges.

    How different is this then if the governor declared martial law and became Governor for life?

    The previous school monitor was a White Jewish Prosecutor who made similar suggestions. Are there no Orthodox experts in these fields?

    What does Abba_S- Rossevelt NY mean?

    #1156991

    zahavasdad
    Participant

    When you get the state involved , you are asking people who do not live inside the district to pay. Most of them do not want to pay or want you to pay for something that they want. It is not a zero sum game

    #1156992

    gavra_at_work
    Participant

    How different is this then if the governor declared martial law and became Governor for life?

    The same way that a person is different than a barn. 🙂

    You can argue that the money is a “poison pill”, but the idea would be to have it earmarked exclusively for public schools.

    The previous school monitor was a White Jewish Prosecutor who made similar suggestions. Are there no Orthodox experts in these fields?

    Does this mean that you agree that you have no reason to believe skin color biased any decisions? If yes, I’ll try to answer your question.

    #1156993

    ☕ DaasYochid ☕
    Participant

    Does this mean that you agree that you have no reason to believe skin color biased any decisions?

    As I tried to subtly point out before, I think you were being unfair to him earlier.

    #1156994

    gavra_at_work
    Participant

    DaasYochid – I’ll let him/her speak for themselves. Color was and is irrelevant, and the sooner we get there, the better.

    Since you are familiar with the Five Towns (as you have mentioned before that you are/were in regular contact with Rabbi Bender of Darchei), would you like to explain to the Olam what happened there and why the situation there, although similar to that of Lakewood and East Ramapo, did not cause the same problems?

    #1156995

    zahavasdad
    Participant

    In Lawrence which is richer than East Ramapo and Lakewood the jewish population agreed to pay for the shortfall.

    #1156996

    Joseph
    Participant

    Abba, the Lakewood monitor overrode the Board and set the referendum to increase taxes. The referendum is widely expected to be rejected by the voters. The monitor then indicated he will eliminate courtesy busing for both the private and public school students beginning January 30th.

    It’s also been revealed that the budget shortfall is now $9.5 million rather than the previously stated $6 million, though the referendum is only for the previously assumed $6 million shortfall.

    Given that eliminating courtesy busing means that 40% of the public school students will lost busing to public school in Lakewood (a much higher percentage than private school students who are more likely to live further away from their school), don’t you think the public school parents will revolt against the monitor for eliminating courtesy busing?

    Also, you above said the yeshivas can’t change back to all opening at the same time since the current bus routes are set for the remainder of the school year. But, nevertheless, if the yeshivas that are now opening earlier simply decided that beginning January 30 they are going to open later like the other yeshivas that are opening later, and they advise the Board, the monitor and bus companies that no school personnel or adults will be at the school premises at the earlier time, and if the bus arrives earlier than the new rescheduled opening times then the bus drivers will be legally responsible to remain with the children until school personnel arrive to open the building, and the bus driver cannot dump children unattended in front of a closed school, will that tactic not force the Board to lose their saving from the staggered times the yeshivas only agreed to based on continuing courtesy busing? (The board still maintains a legal obligation to provide bus transportation to all private school students [other than courtesy] regardless if when the school opens up. And the board’s obligation is to the parents/students, not to the school. So the school’s change can’t be used to drop transporting the students.)

    #1156997

    ☕ DaasYochid ☕
    Participant

    I am completely unfamiliar with the school board situation in the Five Towns, and I am not in regular contact with Rabbi Bender (not sure where you got that from).

    I think you might be in better position to answer than I am.

    #1156998

    gavra_at_work
    Participant

    DY – I apologize, perhaps I’m mixing you up with someone else.

    ZD – You answered the question, but only partially (I think). Why did the population there agree to make up the shortfall? Even in Lawrence, I don’t think that they give away money for free. If they do, please give me some addresses!

    #1156999

    gavra_at_work
    Participant

    Joseph – since the increased cost to the school district (I would think) is due to additional busing costs for Jewish children, why won’t the community vote for taxes to pay for it?

    #1157000

    zahavasdad
    Participant

    GAW

    I am not exactly sure why they agreeded to pay, but it think it was probably related to the fact that they were richer and could afford it and they felt in the importance of a good public school education even if they did not use it themselves (I saw something like that said)

    #1157001

    Mammele
    Participant

    I don’t know the ramifications of this but just in at the Hamodoa “Ramapo Drama: Aron Wieder Resigning as Rockland Democratic Leader”

    I understand he’s still remaining as Legislator, but will no longer head the majority Democratic Legislature. He announced at a news conference that he is doing it not as a protest but to remove himself from being a distraction regarding the school board’s independence.

    I’ll leave the floor to the pundits…

    #1157002

    Mammele
    Participant

    What, we have no Rockland pundits here to expound on this?

    #1157003

    charliehall
    Participant

    “current NYC school board president, who happens to be white”

    The author of this is both a racist and ignoramus. Race has nothing to do with any of this, and NYC does not even have a school board.

    #1157004

    ☕ DaasYochid ☕
    Participant

    Semantics, no?

    As far as Gavra being a racist, it was supposed to be popa_bar_abba pointing that out.

    #1157005

    gavra_at_work
    Participant

    “current NYC school board president, who happens to be white”

    The author of this is both a racist and ignoramus. Race has nothing to do with any of this, and NYC does not even have a school board.

    Dr. Hall: My point was the same as yours, that race was not relevant to the decision. Start the thread from the top.

    As for being an ignoramus regarding NYC school management and funding structures, I plead guilty. Not important or relevant to me.

    I’m also curious as to your position regarding the monitor, as well as if you read the report like me or Joseph.

    Thanks.

    #1157006

    Mammele
    Participant

    After reading bits of Dennis Walcott’s report in the WSJ and elsewhere, everyone makes note that PS students are mostly minority, poor and immigrants. I’m wondering what the per capita income is for the East Ramapo private school Jewish community vs. the PS community. Anyone have any info in this regard?

    #1157007

    fathousewife
    Participant

    1. ER has plenty of poverty in yeshivos and in PS. Just stand around Rockland Kosher on a Friday and observe the number of EBT cards in use. or, talk to tomchei Shabbos. It makes a nice story Rich vs. Poor etc but its isn’t true

    2. ER has a lot of problems the elephant in the room is the out of district expensive pplacements for special needs students,

    3. and in terms of raising taxes they are obscene and unmanageable as it is[ In a two income family]

    #1157008

    zahavasdad
    Participant

    Taxes are high in all of New York, not just East Ramapo

    East Ramapo has spent more money on lawyers than any other district in New York State except NYC

    #1157009

    TheGoq
    Participant

    Move oot it is much cheaper you don;t have to live in a high tax county.

    #1157010

    gavra_at_work
    Participant

    Mammele, fathousewife, ZD, and Joseph, thank you for helping me understand the issues more clearly.

    I need to think about it more, but first glance I’m thinking it is a “Republican mentality” vs. “Democrat mentality” issue that is causing the problems in Lakewood and East Ramapo, but not in the Five Towns.

    #1157011

    GAW in Lakewood it definitely is a republican mentality.

    Hillary clinton was banned from Lakewood by Rav Shneur Kotler ZT”L 30 years ago already

    #1157012

    Abba_S
    Participant

    GAW I never said anything about liberals. But I am wondering how come when Blacks are in charge Jews are discriminated against? For example, when Mayor Dinkins was in charge and his Police Commissioner was Lee Brown who was also Black there was the Crown Heights Riots. Which went on for almost a week, in which blacks attacked Jews while the police did nothing were they order not to do anything. That is unless you want to blame it on Gov. Cuomo for not taking steps to save guard the Jews who were being attacked in the streets.

    All that is going to happen if the monitor is granted veto power is the a higher percentage of the Budget is going to be used for legal expenses and not the classroom. Part of the legal expenses is to fight Special Ed parents to get their children into public school as oppose to private placement, for the elected board to fight the monitor and for the monitor to fight the board.

    Once the monitor has veto power there will be no tax increases as this requires the public to vote on the increase which wouldn’t happen. Right now there is not enough money to provide the education the public school parents want.

    Denying Bus service and Special ed to yeshiva students will end up costing the state even more if they lose in Federal court.

    #1157013

    Joseph
    Participant

    Abba, please address my last comment above addressed to you.

    #1157014

    charliehall
    Participant

    “Taxes are high in all of New York, not just East Ramapo”

    Property taxe rates in New York City are some of the lowest in the US.

    #1157015

    charliehall
    Participant

    “I’m also curious as to your position regarding the monitor”

    I don’t have a position on the monitor specifically. In other states, when states have assumed various levels of control over local school systems, the state control has rarely if ever solved the problems that needed to be solved, and there is in general even less accountability.

    I know that it is politically incorrect to say this, but East Ramapo’s school system will not have its problems fixed without a large influx of money, and none of the politicians are willing to deal with that issue.

    All that said, my real position is that I do not think that there should even BE an East Ramapo School District — or any other local school district in NY State below the county level. There are large economies of scale in administration of larger school districts, and several states — Maryland, Virginia, North Carolina, and Kentucky — have always made the county the basic unit of educational organization. Why does Westchester County need 48 school districts and Nassau County 56 when the entire state of Maryland gets alone with only 24? Merge all the Rockland school districts together and many of these problems will disappear immediately.

    #1157016

    zahavasdad
    Participant

    Denying Bus service and Special ed to yeshiva students will end up costing the state even more if they lose in Federal court.

    They have to provide special Ed serivces, however they do not have to provide special ed services to send students to the expensive Kiryat Joel School District. There is not legal requirement to teach Special Ed students in any language besides english and no requirement to adhere to cutural requirements , you might think there is, but there isnt

    #1157018

    Joseph
    Participant

    There is not legal requirement to teach Special Ed students in any language besides english and no requirement to adhere to cutural requirements , you might think there is, but there isnt

    Really? Wow. Then the E. Ramapo Board of Ed can cancel all Spanish language and cultural services and save millions of dollars.

    #1157019

    Abba_S
    Participant

    Joseph: While your idea of having the yeshivas change the starting and ending times are justifiable, the only ones that will be hurt are the yeshiva students if they are dropped off and there is no supervision. A better solution is that if the yeshivas swap student so that next school year all 26,000 students are mandated. Once Courtesy Busing is off the table the only thing the monitor can cut is Special Ed. and the monitor will have to convince a judge that their anti-semitic public school is a better place for a Jewish student to learn in then the student’s current school.

    As far as the public school parent caring about their children losing courtesy busing, they are more interested in causing pain to Jews.

    Charliehall: I agree with you the East Ramapo School district should be merged with other school district. This way they could have a school board which wouldn’t have a majority of Orthodox Jews and they wouldn’t be violating the Voters Right Act. The reason it wouldn’t happen is the surrounding districts think in a couple of years the Orthodox Jews will take over the board again. Likewise they think Public school students of East Ramapo will be bused to their district so that the Jews can buy the Public School buildings.

    #1157020

    Abba_S
    Participant

    The ER School Board should do the following:

    A) Do not invite the school monitors.

    B) Cancel all open purchase orders for which goods or services haven’t been provided except for Special Ed., lunch program and busing.

    C) Funds saved should be used to fund a legal defense fund protecting the board from the monitor and the state.

    D) Next years school budget 2016-2017 should have a 10% cut on everything except busing, special ed and the lunch program to fund the Board’s legal defense fund.

    #1157021

    Abba_S
    Participant

    The reason I think they are not moving against the 5 town school district is not because they are more Democratic. It is because it is located in Long Island where the past and current NY Senate majority leader’s district is and in order to get the monitor the veto power the Senate majority leader must approve it, which is what happened last year the bill passed the Assembly but got stuck in the Senate.

    #1157022

    Joseph
    Participant

    Abba, that is an interesting suggestion you made about parents changing their non-mandated bussing children to a further away Yeshiva, this making him a mandated bussing student (and eliminating the savings for the board.) It is well worth considering.

    Regarding my earlier suggestion that the yeshivas modify the times, the bus drivers cannot legally dump minor children on the street in front of a closed, unsupervised, school. So the driver will be forced to wait till the Yeshiva opens up. Meanwhile the next shift of students from the other schools will need to be picked up while the first bus is waiting.

    #1157023

    why don’t they just solve the courtesy busing issue by each parent sending their children to a school more then the required mileage to get mandatory busing.

    there are over 35 school choices for each boys & girls plus tons of both high schoools & mesivtas in Lakewood growing town to pick 1 school for your children & they are spread out all over town that you can find one more then 2 miles away from your home address.

    #1157024

    Abba_S
    Participant

    Joseph: Your idea about forcing is a good idea about forcing the bus drivers to wait until the school opens. The only problem with that is that if the school monitor is willing to break an agreement he already made what makes you think he cares if the yeshiva students are left unsupervised.The bus driver may say “I thought someone was there” and so is not legally responsible. Also the dedicated teachers will be there to insure nothing happens to the students. In East Ramapo there was a school bus driver who kicked yeshiva students off his bus on a busy highway miles from their home. Criminal charges were lodged against him. The bus drivers if they find the school closed will just bring them to the garage and it will be someone else’s job to get them to school. I don’t think that this is in the best interest of the student to be used them as pawns.

    Your idea while good but what happens if a student gets hurt, while the bus driver maybe liable he doesn’t have the money to pay, the bus company may have insurance but they will say it the yeshivas fault for changing the starting time. Nobody thought that the monitor would back out of the courtesy bus deal mid year so no one prepared for this situation.

    Even my idea of having all yeshiva students be mandated ie attend yeshiva that is over 2 miles from their home the monitor can still threaten co-ed buses. The yeshivas have to plan for that also having the starting and ending time different so that they can’t use the same bus.

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