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Journal News: East Ramapo’s Budget Fails by Big Margin

Spring Valley, NY: East Ramapo’s budget was resoundingly defeated by better than 3-to-1.

The $193.4 million budget would have brought a $6.3 million, spending increase, that would have resulted in an estimated 11 percent tax increase.

“It’s ridiculous,” Pini Feld, a 44-year-old Spring Valley resident, said after voting at Hillcrest Elementary School. “I’m not against public education, I’m all for it, but a limit is a limit.”
Feld was one of many people from the private-school community who came out in force at the polls. About 8,000 students attend East Ramapo public schools, and 17,000 students in the district attend private schools, mostly yeshivas.

In the school board race, Aron Wieder soundly beat Steven White to become one of two new school board members, according to unofficial results. Rothschild and newcomer Moshe Hopstein won uncontested seats on the nine-member board.

Hopstein and Wieder, both from the private-school community, said they would work to improve education while keeping taxpayers’ interests in mind.

Last week, two of the three incumbents who were seeking re-election withdrew from the race. David Resnick and Steven Rosenstock, said they dropped out for personal reasons.

(Source: Journal News / Lohud)

10 Responses

  1. how is it that fewer and fewer students are in the public school system yet the taxes keep rising without a limit–i have to wonder how these non-jews view us overall–here we have big families and we live decently and we pay for abnormally expensive food prices and we pay for private schooling–oh, i forget–we are the RICH jews. and if you go into the slummiier parts of spring valley–it ain’t so pretty. i say we hzve another boston tea party–and chuck all the tax raisers into the hudson river!

  2. No one should expect big savings. We’ll probably end up with a 10% tax increase instead of 11%. It is the nature of the austerity budget rules. The budget must go up every year.

  3. $193 million divided by 8,000 students in public school equals about $24,000 per student! Granted, private schools get transportation, but am I missing something here? $24,000!!

    BY 200 % FOR THE LAST 10 YEARS…

  5. The same thing has happened in Lakewood. Tomim is correct. Anytime the “heimishe” get $1 from the town, we, the taxpayers have to pay back at least $3. That’s all because we do not heed the misha in Pirkei Avos that commands us “al tis’vada lo’roshus”.

  6. one of, if the the biggest, factor is salaries and benefits to all the public school employees – those in the classroom and those that never see students. it is time to renegotiate with the union and have those being paid by the public (all government workers) start contributing to their benefits. We do this in the private sector there is no reason that it should not be done in the public sector. if the teachers and the others do not like these conditions, let them go teach elsewhere, they can be replaced.

  7. If you would like to save $40 million dollars in East Ramapo School district the solution is simple. Disolve the East Ramapo school board which feels it must spend $12,000 per student (for the one third of school age children that attend public and not parochial schools) and hand it over to neighboring clarkstown that manages to educate students for $8700 a piece. BTW, the next time you hear about classroom overcrowding, it’s not in East Ramapo where they have an average 12:1 student/Teacher ratio

  8. #7 the budget was for $194M if $34M (I do not know the actual amount – if somebody does, please post it) was allocated to private schools (busing and whatever else) that leaves $160M for 8,000 public school students (those that are here legally as well as those that are here illegally). that works to $20K per kid. to come to $12K per kid that would total $96M for the public kids and ~$100M for the 17,000 private school kids – this does not seem correct to me.

    re merging east ramapo wotj clarkstown and/or other districts, this would save a lot in duplicate administrative costs and is an idea that should be investigated.

  9. I agree with mdlevine the largest problems are the administrative costs in the district. The students in the public schools do not see the benefits of the increase. The union members should be made to contribute to the benefits. If they do tell me how? We don’t want to pay higher taxes nor do they. Also, I say redistrict rockland. Why do students who live in clarkstown go to east ramapo schools? they are not getting special services. the public school population would really drop then. ask questions? Many families in the public schools would be willing to redistrict.

  10. I am a public school parent, actively involved in the PTA. I keep hearing everyone commenting about the small class sizes and the dwindling enrollment, but what I see first-hand in the 2 schools where my children attend, are 20+ classes, where the teachers are tasked with isntructing children who speak English as a second Language. Granted, there are specific ESL classes (which are about 15-18 students per class), but the majority of the students who just barely pass the ESL standards,require one-to-one isntruction that is impossible to have when 1 teacher has to instruct 19 other children at varying levels of ability. We have at the elemntary levels (K-3) volunteer grandmothers to assist (not instruct) with minor details – spell checking, reading aloud, etc. – but this is not enough, and short changes all the students. The budget which was recently defeated was of a lesser percentage than the austeruty budget which is now being considered. So those in the private school sector who voted simply on the basis of taxes will be disappointed, and now will have to deal with the cost of transporting their own students, as that will be one of the areas cut once austerity is finalized. Everyone complains about the taxes in E. Ramapo vs. other towns, when they need only look at the taxes paid in Clarkstown and Suffern. The students there get better grades because the parents pay for after-school isntruction – otuside of the public school forum.

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