School Board Monitors in Lakewood & East Ramapo

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  • #1157077

    MRS PLONY
    Participant

    I just had PTA last night and it seems like one of my kids is going to need special ed because her reading level is so low but her comprehension is KA”H high. I’m wondering if it’s worth it to fill out a ream of paperwork and bring all sorts of proofs of identity and residency and have her dentist sign a form (Yes, you read that right: dentist) and THEN she’d get evaluated and MAYBE she’d qualify for help…

    …and the public school activists seem to want to take away private school special ed funding if they can.

    #1157080

    Abba_S
    Participant

    Mrs. Plony it seems has a speech impediment, this is common. This is NOT the Special Ed that I am talking about. This is Title I special ed. If you will fill out the papers, you will be contacted by the Board of Education of your district asking you to bring the child down for an evaluation to see if and what types of services she is entitled to. As a general rule if the teacher says she has a problem the school district’s evaluation will agree and you will be entitled to 1-3 hours of speech therapy per week. After the evaluation you will get in writing what services will be recommended. If you agree then there is nothing more you have to do. You will be notified when they will make the final determination as to what service you will get . If you disagree with evaluation you should attend this meeting. Otherwise it’s just a waste of time This service many times is provided at the school during school hours. Not using this service can result in the child not having friend as they can’t understand her and other emotional problems later in life. Also, it’s free so you really have nothing to lose except the time it takes you to fill out the paper and take your child for the evaluation

    The Special Ed. I am talking about is for the developmental disable which requires one teacher/ paraprofessional per student for the whole school day and is VERY EXPENSIVE.

    #1157081

    Abba_S
    Participant

    Gavra: I like my idea better. The state has the responsibility to provide public schooling. As the district seems unable to do so (due to lack of tax funding and no fault of their own), that responsibility should be taken away from the district.

    Only problem is then the state has to forgo real estate taxes in the district which they wouldn’t do. They can’t take the taxes and not provide the services. As far as the State taking over the district they can’t unless the Board is criminally convicted which is not the case. NJ is the only state with a monitor with veto power over the board and his only accomplishments is denial of busing, a $9.5 deficit and breaking an agreement he made with the community to provide courtesy busing for the school year.

    The question that the courts must address are is the monitor violating rights under the voting act and is he endangering the welfare of a minor by denying school bus services. Because an agreement for busing wasn’t made until August the monitor could not find buses for some yeshiva routes resulting in MANDATED Students being denied bus service. The State is on the hook if the parent get together and sue.

    #1157082

    Joseph
    Participant

    Abba, isn’t the district paying the parents who they didn’t get busing for to get their own transportation?

    #1157083

    zahavasdad
    Participant

    Alot of things the frum community is getting people think is mandated. Its not mandated to get busing if you live 1 mile from the School and its not mandated to send the special ed kids to a Public school in Kiryat Joel.

    If the state comes in these things will be cut.

    Also School Taxes are not State Taxes, they are local taxes

    #1157084

    Abba_S
    Participant

    Joseph: The parents must file a claim with the NJ Department of Education if they want to be reimbursed, not the district. Many parents are unaware of it.

    ZD: Can the state take over the district and abolish Courtesy Busing? The answer is yes the state can. Is it Legal? The answer MAYBE NO. If the school district at their discretion authorizes policies to provides courtesy busing it has the same rules at regular busing until the district votes to no longer provide the service. The state has never taken over a school district whose board have not been convicted of a crime. If the reason for taking over the district is to deny yeshiva student bus service they are violating both the Voting Right & Civil Rights laws.

    “Also School Taxes are local taxes not State Taxes”. Yes The Board of Education is suppose to be local residents not a monitor appointed by the state. Once the states in charge it’s no longer a local tax it’s a state tax they just can’t increase without a local election.

    The problem is that if he cuts courtesy busing as he is promising to do if he doesn’t get a budget increase and it goes to court, we will find out once and for all if the state has the right to takeover of a school district without due process is legal. You will note that the state did not remove the Board.

    #1157085

    Joseph
    Participant

    Abba, what’s the story for next year? Even if courtesy bussing is cancelled from February through June, will the monitor permit courtesy bussing again next September if the yeshivos agree to continue to stagger their starting times? Will the yeshivos agree to that?

    If courtesy bussing is cancelled in February will the monitor also force coed bussing from mixed schools in February as well? If so, what will the parents/yeshivos do if the courts don’t stop the change?

    #1157087

    Abba_S
    Participant

    Joseph: This year the monitor overruled the board and pushed through over a 6% increase to $129 million and although he made a deal with the yeshiva to allow courtesy busing for those living more than .6 miles he is breaking the deal unless he gets a $6.5 million budget increase. If he can’t stay on budget this year when it’s mid year and he already has a $9.5 deficit why do you expect next year to be any different.

    I thought that the boy’s, girl’s and public schools school have different starting and ending times so they can’t be combined. If the judge does not issue a stay, then the parents will have to bring their children to school. The yeshivas should get together so that all students are mandated. The parent should get class action status on behalf of the 30,000 yeshiva students for theft or denial of service because of religion and at $3,000.00 per student that $90 million before punitive damages. There will be lawyer banging on door to get the business

    #1157088

    Abba_S
    Participant

    In Lakewood the monitor threaten to cancel courtesy busing if he doesn’t get a referendum for an additional $6.5 million but I haven’t heard anything about it. It is suppose to take place Jan. 26, 2016 so why isn’t it in the news. Will the monitor actually cancel the busing mid year? What will the judge say when the the monitor is sued?

    In East Ramapo how will the the board treat the school monitors? Will they invite them to board meetings or will they sit with the public? The Board must prepare a budget which must be voted in May by the voters. Will there be a Tax Increase?

    I am not computer savvy but what about a video on say U TUBE about the state denying Jews the right to vote or denying Jewish students school busing. Maybe having a contest who can produce the best video is the best way to go.

    #1157089

    Joseph
    Participant

    Abba_S: Keep us posted on today’s referendum results.

    #1157090

    lesschumras
    Participant

    Abba, why would you expect there to be news coverage of a school district vote? Outside of Lakewood noonr cares. Despite your obsession, courtesy bussing is simply not a major issue. In addition, how is courtesy bussing in East Ramapo a pressing, burning Jewish issue?

    #1157091

    Abba_S
    Participant

    The Referendum failed with 99% voting against it.

    Less Chumras: While Courtesy Busing is not a major issue outside of Lakewood, the major issue is the effectiveness of state monitor in resolving the district’s problems. The issue is can the state deny school busing based on religion.

    The underlining issue is that the states (both NY & NJ) in both communities wants a school monitor with veto power over the school board. This country was founded under the principle of No Taxation Without Representation and if they have a state monitor with veto power the state not the board decides how to spend or mismanage the budget. In the 1870 south there were many Blacks in elected office by the 1900 there was none. Why because the blacks were intimidated from voting.

    So the underlining issue is not busing but the Voter’s Act and are School Monitors with Veto Power, Constitutional?

    #1157092

    lesschumras
    Participant

    Oh please. How are they denying based upon religion? Please get off your soapbox. There is ample precedent for oversight when an select D entty is perceived to be fiscally irresponsible. Financial control boards (FCB ) had veto power on the budgets for both NYC and the city of Yonkers were nearly insolvent. Nassau Country is currently subject to a FCB. The school boards of both Roosevelt and Hempstead were taken over by the State unelected judges at both the federal and state level overturn laws .So much for one man one vote. Your sole concern is courtesy bussing so that your kid doesn’t have to walk a couple of blocks, and you don’t care if programs for the district’s kids have to be cut to pay for it

    #1157093

    gavra_at_work
    Participant

    Your sole concern is courtesy bussing so that your kid doesn’t have to walk a couple of blocks, and you don’t care if programs for the district’s kids have to be cut to pay for it

    And would rather public school programs be cut because it only affects “????????”, even if it hurts yourselves by cutting busing.

    Unfortunately, Lakewood B’shittah (and they hold it is a good thing) is so closely tied to government funding (and not local that would cost them in taxes), the results of the Referendum are expected. Just don’t hold your breath for the state to bail you out when they have Camden, Atlantic City and Newark to deal with first (unless HaGaon Rosh Yeshiva BMG Aaron Kotler can pull a rabbit out of his black hat. He has done it before).

    #1157094

    Joseph
    Participant

    gavra: If the State doesn’t give the town additional education funds, it will inevitably force further cuts in non-mandatory public school programs and courses. Even if you cut all non-mandatory courtesy busing, there is still a major ongoing annual deficit in the school budget. And legally taxes cannot be raised without local voter consent, which as you see isn’t happening. So the only possibility left is to cut all non-mandatory services, most of which (by far) comes from public school children.

    #1157095

    gavra_at_work
    Participant

    Joseph – exactly. So there will be cuts to public schools, and no busing.

    #1157096

    zahavasdad
    Participant

    People here think there is nothing to cut , They can cut sending Jewish kids to Kiyrat Joel school district and educate them in East Ramapo for cheaper, there is no mandate to send them to Kiryat Joel

    #1157097

    lesschumras
    Participant

    Joseph, you act like it is something that has never happened elsewhere. It’s called an austerity budget. It’s when a district ( in NY ) votes down a budget two times. Gavra is correct. Camden is bankrupt and Atlantic City is headed that way. Gov Christie vetoed an aid package for Atlantic City. Lakewood’s district will simply have to make do

    #1157098

    Abba_S
    Participant

    Lesschumras:

    I don’t live in Lakewood NJ nor do I have children that use school buses.

    The district has a deficit of $9.5 million and the monitor is going to cut courtesy busing the yeshivas and or the parents should sue him for breach of contract. If the public schools parents are mostly immigrants and over 40% are courtesy busing recipients. Will they know that they don’t get busing anymore? Will it effect attendance? As district revenue is based on public school attendance every day a student misses school is less money for the district.

    As far as Roosevelt & Hempstead if the state could just takeover a school district why in East Ramapo does the state require a school monitor veto bill before doing? I think in the cases you cited the district and or city invited the state to takeover. While in East Ramapo the state is trying to force itself on the district.

    As far as getting a budget increase this year it is highly unlikely as the both the seniors and the Orthodox Jews will be against as the budget must be voted and approved by May so soon after the courtesy busing cut. Any saving they may get by cutting courtesy busing will be offset by addition cost for mandatory busing in future years and the loss of budget increases in the future.

    #1157099

    Joseph
    Participant

    LC: You missed my point (I think). The public school children will be losing a lot more services than the private school children will be losing due to the inevitable austerity budget.

    #1157100

    lesschumras
    Participant

    Abba, please stop being condescending to the immigrant population. The Lakewood district will have to deal with the reality of living within their current budget. It is their issue, not yours..

    Joseph, I think I got your point. I’m not saying your wrong but they will not be the first district to live under an austerity budget. The issue isn’t religion, it’s money. Either live within your means or raise taxes. Just don’t look for a state bailout to pay for courtesy bussing

    #1157101

    Joseph
    Participant

    When the public schools lose art, gym, culture and other non-mandatory courses, and are left with a bare-bones curriculum, the State might elect to provide additional funding.

    #1157102

    zahavasdad
    Participant

    Art, Music and Gym are mandatory in NY

    Band and Sports teams are not

    #1157103

    Joseph
    Participant

    Lakewood is in New Jersey.

    #1157104

    lesschumras
    Participant

    Joseph, there is additional funding available, it’s called taxes. If the governor just refused to bail out Atlantic City, what makes you think he’ll bail out Lakewood?

    #1157105

    zahavasdad
    Participant

    i dont know lakewood for sure as I live in NY, but I am fairly certain GYM is required in NJ as well. I dont know about Art and Music, but these things are usually required in most places

    #1157106

    Abba_S
    Participant

    Cutting Courtesy Busing will save the district at most $4.5 million ($450 {assuming $900 per year there are 4 months to the end of the school year} per student for 10,000 student) leaving a $5 million deficit for this year.

    The question is how many mandated school bus yeshiva students will there be next school year. The more mandated students the less funds there are for public school students and with no budget increases and lawsuits from both the board of education and the yeshiva parents, the school maybe in a worse financial position then they were at the beginning of the year.

    #1157107

    Joseph
    Participant

    LC: And if the local electorate, in our democracy, vote no to taxes, then the law is quite clear that local taxes don’t get raised.

    BTW, no one is forcing Atlantic City to raise local taxes.

    #1157108

    charliehall
    Participant

    It was the equivalent of a State Monitor (called an emergency manager) who poisoned the children of Flint Michigan. The entire idea is undemocratic and in Flint it proved tragic. If the school system is not fiscally viable, merge it with neighboring districts.

    #1157109

    charliehall
    Participant

    “In the 1870 south there were many Blacks in elected office by the 1900 there was none. Why because the blacks were intimidated from voting.”

    Actually the last African American Congressman from the South until 1972 was George Henry White of North Carolina, who left office in 1901. And it wasn’t just intimidation, it was legal barriers to voting that the white racists enacted in order to suppress voter turnout among the “wrong” groups. Back then the people doing that were Democrats but today they are Republicans, as they know that they cannot win without doing so.

    And it isn’t just blacks who are targeted. Some communities in upstate NY have been targeting Jews. πŸ™

    #1157110

    Abba_S
    Participant

    Unless the state changes the formula for calculating school aid this problem will not be resolved no matter who is in charge. What will happen is that class size will grow to 50 or more students per class. No one will get a good public education but they will have all mandatory courses.

    As far as merging the school district is concerned, you would need to combine at least 5 other school districts in order to dilute the percentage of private school students in the school district and the public school parents in those districts wouldn’t want to lose the control they have over their district . What the state may do is split the district so that the Jews have their district and the public school supports have their district. The only problem is the public school district will not have a viable tax base to support it and they may have to merge with surrounding a school district this would similar to Kiryas Joel.

    #1157111

    zahavasdad
    Participant

    Nobody is going to want to merge with a school district that wants courtesy busing to private schools and thinks that Football ,Band and AP courses are unnessary extra things and should be cut to give busing to private schools. .

    #1157112

    lesschumras
    Participant

    Joseph, in his veto message, Christie raised thatvery issue. He said to simply give money without AC changing how it does business ( spending, taxation ) would accomplish nothing.

    #1157113

    lesschumras
    Participant

    Abba, if the Jewish community of East Ramapo wants to preserve their services, vote to increase taxes it’s that simple. All you’re doing is trying to get others to pay to solve your problem. Since you keep raising the one man one vote issue, why should taxpayers who don’t live or vote there have to pay

    #1157114

    Joseph
    Participant

    ZD: Busing for private schools is not a courtesy; it is mandatory by law.

    And courtesy busing is provided equally to both public and private schools. And public school students use courtesy busing at a much higher percentage than private school students. (In Lakewood almost half the public school kids use courtesy busing, while less than a quarter of yeshiva kids use courtesy busing.) Cutting courtesy busing will proportionally hurt public school students much more than the loss will hurt private school students. Especially in towns where it is dangerous for little school children to walk to school, due to the heavy local traffic, even if it is “only” a 2 mile walk.

    And the typical public school student doesn’t have an available parent to take him to school, and pick him up, every day. The yeshiva students are much more likely to have that.

    #1157115

    Joseph
    Participant

    LC: The tax shortfall to cover the school budget is much much greater than the cost of courtesy busing for private school students. Most of any tax increase will cover public schooling, not courtesy busing.

    It would, from an economic standpoint of the private school voter base, be more cost effective for the voters to vote down all future school tax increases, even if that means forfeiting courtesy busing, and simply have the parents privately pay for the busing of the students too close to school to qualify for mandatory busing. This will cost them less than the needed tax increase to cover the annual school budget shortfalls. Of course exercising this option will mean the public schools will fail since they will not have enough funding to cover their school budget, unless the State fixes the formula to provide State school funding.

    #1157116

    oyveyoyvey
    Participant

    “And the typical public school student doesn’t have an available parent to take him to school, and pick him up, every day.”

    I wish that was true. Maybe where you live all there is no one who stays home all day watching the shtus box and collecting unemployment.

    #1157117

    zahavasdad
    Participant

    In East Ramapo they give busing to more than the minimim required by law. Also there is no law that required seperate busing

    #1157118

    Also there is no law that required seperate busing

    Is there a law requiring that the kids be bussed to the school they are attending?

    #1157119

    zahavasdad
    Participant

    You can combine bus routes so if a family has twins a boy and a girl (Or more likely children a year apart), but they go to seperate schools, the school bus can pick them both up and drop each off at their respective schools, this is more efficient and money saving.

    #1157120

    Why would that be more efficient than only making one dropoff?

    #1157121

    gavra_at_work
    Participant

    You can combine bus routes so if a family has twins a boy and a girl (Or more likely children a year apart), but they go to seperate schools, the school bus can pick them both up and drop each off at their respective schools, this is more efficient and money saving.

    Not happening, and you know it. Even if it was offered, private school parents in Lakewood Ir HaKodesh would not send their children on such buses.

    More likely to save money (from what I read) is the removal of Helen Tobia, and the monitor banning any outside placement for special education services, especially if the parents are represented by Michael Inzelbuch (whom the district should ban from any cases due to conflict of interest). Something like a moratorium on any placements until they can settle things and do some forensic accounting on the schools who accepted outside placements to see if any illegality occurred.

    I imagine that will save a signifigant amount of money for the district. :p

    End story, the district will run out of money and the state will not offer any.

    #1157122

    nishtdayngesheft
    Participant

    “You can combine bus routes so if a family has twins a boy and a girl (Or more likely children a year apart), but they go to seperate schools, the school bus can pick them both up and drop each off at their respective schools, this is more efficient and money saving. “

    This is a claim that is completely without merit. It would only make sense if the two schools are nearby and have laddered start times.

    However it makes no sense to have a bus route that has many pick ups as well as many different drop offs. That will not work, nor be more efficient or time saving.

    Further, you assume that the busses are running half empty, which does not seem to be the case.

    #1157123

    Joseph
    Participant

    ZD: What you suggest is narishkeit and impractical. It would cost the Board of Ed much more to have the same bus route drop off children at multiple different schools. Furthermore, the boys and girls schools have different hours. The boys come earlier for shachris and leave later. And if there are some boys and girls schools that have the same hours, if the Board tried mixing the boys and girls schools will change their hours to make it impossible to mix the students.

    gavra: If the district runs out of money, and the State offers none, it will be the black and hispanic public school parents running to the State begging for money to restore all the gutted non-mandatory classes, leaving the public schools with a skeleton curriculum of mandatory-only courses and hours.

    #1157124

    gavra_at_work
    Participant

    gavra: If the district runs out of money, and the State offers none, it will be the black and hispanic public school parents running to the State begging for money to restore all the gutted non-mandatory classes, leaving the public schools with a skeleton curriculum of mandatory-only courses and hours.

    The state could (I don’t know what they will do) then place those children (who want public school) in outside districts and pay those districts directly, subtracting that amount from any funds the state normally pays to the district itself. Certainly reasonable if the number of public school children within the district drops (which has to be expected).

    Or HaGaon Rosh Yeshiva BMG Aaron Kotler can pull a rabbit out of his black hat. He has done it in the past. Perhaps they will call it “E-Rate” πŸ™‚

    #1157125

    Joseph
    Participant

    The state could (I don’t know what they will do) then place those children (who want public school) in outside districts and pay those districts directly, subtracting that amount from any funds the state normally pays to the district itself. Certainly reasonable if the number of public school children within the district drops (which has to be expected).

    I don’t know if you’re correct that they could do that, but assuming they can and did, are you suggesting they will place the entire public student body of Lakewood (or East Ramapo) in outside school districts, thus leaving the town with no more public school? I don’t know that would even be logistically practical to do, but even if it were – and were done – at that point the town no longer has any public schools so they can lower taxes to cover only special ed and busing and everyone lives happily ever after. πŸ™‚

    OTOH, what you suggest will cost the State far more since the State will have to pay the full cost of placing the students in out-of-district schools while the State currently does not pay the full cost to cover the public school students in school. (Local taxes cover most.)

    #1157126

    gavra_at_work
    Participant

    Joseph – Exactly. Then again, I don’t know the exact numbers of public to private spending in Lakewood. IIRC I saw something in East Ramapo that has them at a 60/40 split (public vs. transportation & special ed.).

    This would only happen if the district already has 40 child classes in public schools. At that point, I imagine a majority of funds are going to private school children already.

    #1157127

    zahavasdad
    Participant

    Not happening, and you know it. Even if it was offered, private school parents in Lakewood Ir HaKodesh would not send their children on such buses.

    Of course not, but its not MANDATORY to pay for seperate buses, We are talking about what is mandatory and everything else needs to be cut

    It seems some want everything they want and want the state to pay for the public school kids which isnt going to happen so there will be cuts from the private school kids

    #1157128

    Joseph
    Participant

    It is more cost effective for the board to have separate buses for separate schools. And since boys and girls go to separate schools, it’s cheaper to bus them separately. Especially considering they have different hours. So it will cost the district more to combine the schools especially after the boys schools make sure their hours don’t align with the girls schools.

    #1157129

    nishtdayngesheft
    Participant

    ” IIRC I saw something in East Ramapo that has them at a 60/40 split (public vs. transportation & special ed.).”

    1) The split is nowhere near that unless you include BOCES (which is almost purely public school) And that is including 100% of transportation and special Ed as private, which is not even nearly the case.

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