Rockland – Ed Commissioner Annuls Yeshiva’s Lease Of Hillcrest Elementary School

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New York State Education Commissioner King has annulled the lease of Hillcrest Elementary School to Congregation Yeshiva Avir Yakov of New Square, saying that “I cannot find, on this record, that the Board took reasonable steps to ensure that it was getting the best deal possible,” the Rockland County Times reports.

The current lease agreement allows a New Square yeshiva to pay a fraction of the market-value cost to the city for use of the Hillcrest Elementary School.

The commissioner upheld a petition filed by Robert Forest, a School board candidate, who cited the leasing agreement of a comparable school building in Ramapo at the cost of $760,000 as opposed to the $252,000 currently being paid by Congregation Yeshiva Avir Yakov.

Commissioner King also ordered that “prior to disposing of school district property by either sale or lease, the Board take all steps necessary to ensure that it makes a reasonably informed decision, and obtains the best deal possible, including taking any and all reasonable steps to assess the property’s fair market value or fair market rental value.”