Op-Ed: Why a Frum Person Should Vote YES on Today’s E. Ramapo School Budget


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ramThere is misinformation being passed around regarding the East Ramapo School Budget.

The following are just the facts why you should Vote YES on passing the School Budget 2014-2015.  The Governor has instituted a Tax Cap and if the district is able to stay tax compliant it will net a zero tax increase for Star eligible homeowners.

East Ramapo School district is suffering because of the current state aid formula that doesn’t take into account the 21,000+ private school students. The district is losing approx 40 million dollars per year in state aid. Legislators in NY state are looking into possibly changing this formula which would being back programs for the public schools and stabilize taxes for years. If the budget is not passed this will have a negative effect on this effort.

If the budget fails, there will have to be painful cuts that the district never saw before, which will result in tremendous strife and a huge Chillul Hashem.  East Ramapo has already cut hundreds of positions and had consecutive low budgets for years. Voting no when there is virtually no tax increase will send shock waves throughout the state and will a have a huge negative impact on our community.

Important information to note about the budget being voted on:

1) It is under the tax cap established by NY state.

2) While taxes will increase slightly, the state will refund the ENTIRE increase to all STAR eligible individuals – this means that for this year the net effect is a 0% increase. (See the attached slide for an illustration)

3) There are no service or staff reductions in the proposed budget.  Services will remain at exactly the level they are currently. If the budget is not passed there will be detrimental cuts to the schools.

4) There is no opposition for the School Board candidates so please choose the names you see on the ballots.

If you are unsure where to vote, click on this link HERE:

Find you street name and it will show the polling number location, then look on the

map to find your specific polling location.

Any information mentioned above, can be confirmed by the East Ramapo School district or by any of the current School board members. You can reach the district at 845-577-6000.

Polls are open from 7:00am to 10:00pm.

Your vote is important so please make it count – YES

Eli Wiener – Monsey

NOTE: The views expressed here are those of the authors and do not necessarily represent or reflect the views of YWN.



  1. If the budget fails, there will have to be painful cuts that the district never saw before, which will result in tremendous strife and a huge Chillul Hashem.

    Why is it a Chillul Hashem if the budget does not pass. that is democracy at work. please don’t tell us about Chillul Hashem if you don’t know the halochos .

  2. הלכות חילול השם: נוהגות בזמן הזה רק במעשות אשר יעשו החרדים שהם מתנגדים להציונות, ולא שייכים אצל העשרת מיליוני יהודים ברחבי תבל בני עממין שלחרפתינו הם אוכלין טריפות ומחללי שבתות, מפני שהם ציונים נלהבים

  3. The Monsey community is taxed to the hilt. The declining population of public school students is massively funded. More than $25,000 is allowed for each student which would equal the tuition for a classy private school.

    Save the poor, oppressed Monsey community and vote down this larcenous tax.

  4. הלכות חילול השם: נוהגות בזמן הזה רק במעשות אשר יעשו החרדים שהם מתנגדים להציונות, ולא שייכים אצל העשרת מיליוני יהודים ברחבי תבל בני עממין שלחרפתינו הם אוכלין טריפות ומחללי שבתות, מפני שהם ציונים נלהבים –
    English please

  5. After reading this, I definitely don’t understand anything.

    1. What is the tax cap? What does it have to do with anything?

    2. What is STAR eligibility? What do you mean refund?

    3. There have been plenty of cuts in our kids’s schools. If the state won’t pay for public education, why does that fall on parents of private school students?

    4. If there is no opposition, why does it matter what I pick?

    5. What is the relationship between this vote and the state funding? I don’t get it.

  6. “More than $25,000 is allowed for each student”

    Wrong. While that is the number you get if you divide the total budget by the number of public school students, it fails to take into account that much of the budget goes not to the public schools to but to services to private school students.

  7. popa_bar_abba: In NYS, each locality gets to vote up or down the porposed budget by their local Board of Ed. If voters feel the Board of Ed is proposing to spend too much, they can vote it down and force the Board to propose a new lower budget which can result in lower taxes. (Local property taxes pay for the schools in that district.)

  8. Charlie,

    You are being hypocritical again. As well as incorrect.

    You and your group feel that there is no issue with the funding formula, thus that would mean that you do not think that non public school students should be not included in the formula for funding. If that is the case, they cannot be included in the formula for figuring the average spent on each student.

    However you are wrong in stating that “much” goes to the non public school students. A porting is for mandated services, which covers all students, public school and non public school students.

    The total amount that goes for non public school students is probably not 10% of the total budget, including busing, school books, nurses and special ed students placed in private schools. The average for each public school student then runs about $22,500 per public school student. Still way above state average.

  9. Here are the facts-for the 2011/12 school year East Ramapo had a budget of 198.8 million, the transportation budget was 932 dollars per student and was 13 percent of the budget. So if you add in the costs for books, special education, attorney’s fees and all other costs associated with the private school student, the cost of a private school student is well above 10 percent of the budget. Also, the person who averaged all the costs per public students did it correctly. There are certain costs that school districts do not use in calculating the cost to educate a public school student. Im guessing the cost to educate a public pupil to be in the 12k to 14k per student.

  10. Vote yes vote no it’s all a game in the end they pass something anyway if not the whole thing they take off $100 and vote again and then it passes cause no one go’s out to vote the second time. The end of the day the money comes from us tax payers no matter what its a lose lose so vote what you want and I’m not a rav buy I don’t see the chilul hashem here but yet again who am I 😉

  11. It would be a huge chillull hashem especially because as of now every other district passed in the region (Rockland, Westchester and Putnam). There is nothing left to cut, their children are entitled to an education as we’ll.

  12. ERSD,

    You apparently are either not an accountant, or a very poor one at that.

    Yes the transportation costs maybe 13% of the budget, but transportation is NOT only for the non private school students. So you are carving out way too much.

    The text books and nurses costs are really not that much. Hardly a percent.

    Lawyer fees are not the cost of the non public school children. If you want to assign the bulk of it anywhere, it should be assigned to Preserve Ramapo and the anti Jewish groups that have initiated the bogus lawsuits.

    You cannot just carve out all costs of the school budget and say you do not want to include them because they are not instructional. Those too are costs of the public school system averaging in the special education costs. (BOCES).

    I am not sure where you are from, but Charlie is just another uninformed interloper from Riverdale spouting nonsense.

  13. nishtdayngesheft, please learn to read, I never wrote that transportation was only for private school students. According to an ER board member, Rothman, the budget costs toward private school students is 25 percent which in reality will probably be a lot higher. The fact of the matter is this, a household with a lot of students is taking out a lot more than they are putting in. Its the size of the households that is breaking ER.

  14. ersd: You’re incorrect. The Orthodox Jewish families with more children do not send their kids to P.S. thus they save the district money as the P.S. doesn’t bear the cost of educating all those children. The cost of transportation (and books) is a small percent of what is paid for the teachers, facilities, utilities, maintenance, etc. to educate students who are in P.S. and not in private school.

  15. UJM, the east ramapo board member says they budgeted 25 percent for all private school students, not me, thats the number, if it is a small percentage or not thats for you to decide. You are correct, the PS does not bear the difference of what is already being paid out and the cost to educate them if they where enrolled (the difference is smaller than you people want to believe), however, I dont know what the tax difference would be with the inclusion of state aid with their enrollment. Right now, the large ultra Orthodox family most likely is costing the district money (taxes in-expenses). Its not only the ultra Orthodox with large families that is stretching the system, its also all the illegal households (mostly illegal aliens) who have 2 or 3 families living in a house and have a lot of kids attending public school. Thats tax dollars lost.