School Board Monitors in Lakewood & East Ramapo

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  • #1157280

    ☕ DaasYochid ☕
    Participant

    Each district pays their own taxes.

    No, it’s shared.

    How far away do you have live to get free bussing?

    How far would you feel comfortable allowing your first-grader to walk to and from school?

    #1157281

    zahavasdad
    Participant

    How far would you feel comfortable allowing your first-grader to walk to and from school?

    It should be whatever the public schools get, however given the shortage of funds here and everything is cut, it needs to be the minimium in the state law and not anymmore unless people are willing to pay

    that being said, I dont think busing is the issue, its special services that is causing the huge deficit in East Ramapo

    #1157282

    lesschumras
    Participant

    DY, it’s not shared. We vote on our district budget annually , with the star imposed 2% cap on property ta es

    The law says that to qualify for free busing you have to live at least two miles ( up until high school ) or three miles for high school. So, the three million dollars does not have to go to busing as any less than 2 of 3 miles is not mandated. The three million was intended to restore phyd Ed and art

    #1157283

    Abba_S
    Participant

    ZD: In Lakewood the only thing the school monitor tried to cut was school busing. In East Ramapo there is a separate special ed. program exclusively for frum students which both the state Dept. of Education, the school board and the parents all like and cost the same as regular special ed. Also special ed changes requires an administrative judge which would be on a case by case basis and is very costly.

    #1157284

    nishtdayngesheft
    Participant

    “that being said, I dont think busing is the issue, its special services that is causing the huge deficit in East Ramapo”

    Wrong.

    It is the funding formula that is the problem, it does not cover mandated services.

    #1157285

    ☕ DaasYochid ☕
    Participant

    ZD, it can be whatever is legal and decided by the democratically elected board.

    LC, of course the district’s are partially state funded. The problem is a faulty formula which doesn’t allocate enough to districts such as East Ramapo which have unique demographics.

    The law also doesn’t mandate small class sizes in public schools or art and sports.

    #1157286

    Joseph
    Participant

    Do you want hundreds of 8 year old little public school children, living 1.9 miles or 2.9 miles from the public school, to have to walk across six lane streets and other dangerous streets if they don’t qualify for mandatory bussing? Should the public schools start charging hundreds of poor minority families for bussing they can’t afford (and can’t afford to take off from work for)?

    Special services is mandated by law. And legally mandatory bussing cost more, for private school children, than special services.

    #1157287

    zahavasdad
    Participant

    Special services are mandated by law, the debate is how to administer those services

    The board can decide whatever it wants to give as busing, however given the limited funds, it cannot give additional busing at the expensive of Art and Gym (Both are mandatory in NY)

    #1157288

    lesschumras
    Participant

    Jose, you don’t care about how k or Hispanic kids, and. Using for less than two miles is NOT mandated.

    #1157289

    ☕ DaasYochid ☕
    Participant

    LC, if you don’t advocate giving only the bare minimum to public schools, should you be accused of not caring about Jewish kids?

    #1157290

    Joseph
    Participant

    LC, Whether I care or not is irrelevant. The minorities care. And the minority public school parents won’t let the school board force their little 8 year old public schoolchildren to walk 1.9 miles or 2.9 miles in dangerous crosswalks and streets even if bussing isn’t mandated for 8 year old children living 1.9 or 2.9 miles from public school with parents who leave to work at 7:30.

    #1157291

    zahavasdad
    Participant

    This thread is running in circles. There is a shortage of $60 million and the state wont pay for it and the taxpayers wont pay for it and we are at a stalemate

    #1157292

    Joseph
    Participant

    I guess we’ll have to cut more non-mandatory public school classes and increase class sizes to 60 kids per teacher. Pre-K and kindergarten isn’t mandatory either, so it can be eliminated.

    #1157293

    Abba_S
    Participant

    The need for school busing is due to the lack of sidewalks and traffic lights, beside the need for additional school crossing guards if they are to walk to school safely. School busing is the cheapest and best way to get the students to and from school safely.

    The county government is trying to limit frum growth but that is a civil rights violation. The only solution is to recognize yeshiva students in the funding formula.

    #1157294

    zahavasdad
    Participant

    The NY Times has been critical of East Ramapo. Today it had a summary of the legislative sessions which closed on friday and no mention of the deal/ Certainly you would think they would mention it even in a negative way.

    It does make me think it was really less than a band-aid and basically insignificiant

    #1157295

    gavra_at_work
    Participant

    In East Ramapo, do the Frum and public school population live in (basically) different areas?

    #1157296

    zahavasdad
    Participant

    In East Ramapo, do the Frum and public school population live in (basically) different areas?

    I think so, but not entirely

    Monsey is mostly frum (But not all) Clarkstown is mostly not frum (I dont know if frum people live there)

    #1157297

    ☕ DaasYochid ☕
    Participant

    Could the district lines be drawn in such way so that the burden of the public schools didn’t fall on the shoulders of the frum community?

    #1157298

    Joseph
    Participant

    No, because the neighboring non-Jewish school districts will not want to inherit the financial responsibility of paying for the schooling of thousands of poor minority immigrant public school students.

    #1157299

    zahavasdad
    Participant

    Could the district lines be drawn in such way so that the burden of the public schools didn’t fall on the shoulders of the frum community?

    I suppose you could, however you could never get exact as people are transiant and what would you do about non frum in Monsey or frum in Clarkstown

    #1157300

    ☕ DaasYochid ☕
    Participant

    Joseph, the frum districts don’t want it either.

    ZD, so it wouldn’t be entirely, but the burden would be lessened.

    #1157301

    Joseph
    Participant

    DY, but the frum districts already have it. Now it would be a matter of implementing a boundary change. And there isn’t the political capital to make that happen.

    #1157302

    nishtdayngesheft
    Participant

    ZD,

    Clarkstown is a separate School District. You’ve excluded Spring Valley, which is mixed, Hillcrest, Chestnut Ridge, Pomona and some others as well.

    A number of the actual Public Schools are right in the middle of mostly Frum areas, such as Lime Kiln School, Ramapo High, Kakiat, Grandview, Early Childhood Center, Hempstead Elementary.

    Elmwood is right around Frum areas, but very much a mixed crowd living in the area, it is more in a commercial area, between neighborhoods.

    #1157303

    ☕ DaasYochid ☕
    Participant

    Joseph, so you’re saying it’s geographically possible, but not politically?

    NDG, you’re saying it’s not geographically possible?

    #1157304

    zahavasdad
    Participant

    Unless you make a Kiryat Joel, its not possible

    And if somehow a non frum person moved into Kiryat Joel and wanted to go to Public School, the district would be required to pay for it

    #1157305

    Joseph
    Participant

    DY, I’m saying its legally possible and probably geographically doable to a large extent, but the non-frum don’t want to see the frum break off because the frum property taxpayers are now funding the non-Jewish public schools. So it would be politically very difficult to push through.

    KJ did exactly that 20 years ago and it took three laws, in three different legislative years, including a court fight that went all the way to the U.S. Supreme Court – where KJ lost but Governors Mario Cuomo and George Pataki and the legislature reintroduced new laws customized to pass the court rulings – till it finally stuck. But there it was a matter of KJ wishing to form its own breakaway school district and the neighboring districts happy to see them off their own rolls. In Ramapo the non-frum will not want to see the frum break off because the non-Jewish demographics (largely immigrants, many illegal and indigent) can’t fund their own public schools.

    #1157306

    nishtdayngesheft
    Participant

    1) I don’t think you could easily carve up Spring Vally, where a very large portion of the Public School children live.

    2) I don’t think it is smart to start districting that way, just think how else such districting might be used.

    3) The second half of my comment was letting you know where the physical schools are located, not where the students live. i would guess that the overwhelming majority of students in most of those schools are bused some distance.

    4) I was correcting the information that ZD provided.

    #1157307

    nishtdayngesheft
    Participant

    “There is a shortage of $60 million and the state wont pay for it “

    A large part relates to necessary Plant repair and upgrades.

    The school board tried to get approval to issue a bond to fund this, yet the so called school activists got it voted down because they wanted to harm the School Board.

    Another alternative is what just was done for Yonkers, which was just awarded $2 Billion in aid from the state. And that school district was in worse shape in every way, fiscally, scholastically and programmatically.

    #1157308

    gavra_at_work
    Participant

    Another alternative is what just was done for Yonkers, which was just awarded $2 Billion in aid from the state. And that school district was in worse shape in every way, fiscally, scholastically and programmatically.

    Its much easier politically to give money to fund public schools than to fund busing for Yeshivos, especially after the missteps from East Ramapo.

    So for the critical pieces of the bill:

    1: Monitors are now required by law, they are not going away.

    2: Monitors will attend all board meetings, nothing will be private

    3: The money goes directly to public school children, not a penny for Yeshivos or busing, and they only get the money to restore services 🙁

    4: To get the money, the board needs to come up with a long term plan on how to break even

    5: East Ramapo only gets the money when the Commissioner receives evidence of compliance

    6: (The big one)

    The board of education shall make adjustments to the proposed budget consistent with any recommendations made by the commissioner.

    So the NY commissioner has veto power over the board of ed, with the added stick that if the board doesn’t follow through, they are breaking the law.

    All in all, I understand why Hamodia is claiming a win for the Yeshivos (the monitors can’t veto, only recommend to the commissioner), but if you actually read it…..

    P.S. It is certainly possible that Cuomo will veto the bill.

    Mods – please allow the text only link to the bill language.

    http://nyassembly.gov/leg/?default_fld=&leg_video=&bn=A10723&term=2015&Summary=Y&Actions=Y&Committee%26nbspVotes=Y&Memo=Y&Text=Y

    #1157309

    Abba_S
    Participant

    The district’s school budget is over $224 million, the state is going to give another $3 million to improve the public schools. While the state monitor has control over the $3 million the board of Ed. can use the $224 million school budget as it sees fit as long as it provides the bare minimum of education. Basically the monitor has “Veto power” over $3 million which is less then 2% of the school budget.

    While dividing the district into a frum and public school district is possible. The state would have to force the surrounding district to merge these public school students into their district. Another solution is to merge all the surrounding districts so that yeshiva students are outnumbered. Any of these ideas are highly unlikely as the voters wouldn’t want the merger.

    #1157310

    huju
    Participant

    But, more to the fundamental focus of the opening post: As long as local schools are substantially funded by local taxes, rich districts are going to be well funded, poor districts are going to be poorly funded. And districts where majorities – or even substantial minorities – of voters are committed to private schools, of which frum Jews are but one example, majorities will vote their personal interests, which is the point of voting in the first place. This will result in low funding for the public schools, to the detriment of children (and their parents) who rely on public schools.

    I see the only solution to this conundrum as state-wide funding for local schools. Transition to such a system would be politically difficult, if not impossible.

    edited

    #1157311

    zahavasdad
    Participant

    If there would be statewide funding, there would also be statewide control

    There is no way they would ever give state funding and local control meaning basically they are spending someone elses money. Not gonna happen in this lifetime

    #1157312

    huju
    Participant

    re zahavasdad’s comment about statewide funding: you make an excellent point – If there is state funding but local control, that would result in the squandering of “free money” by some irresponsible school boards. But there is already heavy state control over curriculum and other education policy, so the reduction in local control would not be that significant. And if state control results in better school policies, that may be good for everyone.

    #1157313

    zahavasdad
    Participant

    There is not as much state control as you think, Yes there is curriculum, but if there was state control they would control alot more.

    Any “Subsidies” for private schools are not popular as it is and any accomodation would likley be elimiated like Busing for private schools (Dont think its not on the table) or “Mandated Service” they can force you to send your kid to public school. Bloomberg essentially did this, They fought everyone who tried to get some accomodation outside public schools even though initially it costed the city more money in legal fees than it was worth. But many parents were scared or unable to pay for legal fees and gave in

    #1157314

    Abba_S
    Participant

    ZD: The state can takeover the district and make all the financial decisions. The problem is that the state will be stuck with the bill which it doesn’t want to pay.

    The key reason for this problem which even the school monitors agree is under funding by the state. The state doesn’t count the yeshiva students who make up the majority of the students in the district but the district must provide mandated service for ALL Students in the district. Also since the majority of the students are not public school students the district is considered RICH and so is funded on a lower level.

    In Lakewood the state has a monitors with veto power and has been forced to cut the public school service drastically. The state doesn’t want to increase funding the district and since the monitor wants to cut services for the yeshiva students the voters reject budget increases, resulting in drastic cuts in public school services.

    The only area that the Lakewood state monitor can cut is school busing. They were unsuccessful last year, will they be successful this year we will have to see. Also we will have to see if a reduction in school busing for public school students will it affect public school attendance as school funding is dependent on school attendance.

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