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March 21, 2013

Scandal-Plagued Haredi-Controlled School Board Sues NY State Over Special Ed Yeshiva Placements

Daniel SchwartzThe haredi-controlled scandal-plagued East Ramapo school district is reportedly suing the New York State Department of Education. The district's suit claims that the district's controversial practice of assigning haredi and Orthodox students with disabilities to private out-of-district Yiddish-speaking programs at yeshiva schools is kosher – even though in-district public school placements are available.

Daniel Schwartz
East Ramapo school board president Daniel Schwartz

Scandal-Plagued Haredi-Controlled School Board Sues NY State Over Special Ed Yeshiva Placements
Shmarya Rosenberg • FailedMessiah.com

The haredi-controlled scandal-plagued East Ramapo school district is reportedly suing the New York State Department of Education. The district's suit claims that the district's controversial practice of assigning haredi and Orthodox students with disabilities to private out-of-district Yiddish-speaking programs at yeshiva schools is kosher – even though in-district public school placements are available.

The suit was filed ten days ago in federal court, and was first reported by the Journal News last night.

The district claims that the Individuals with Disabilities Education Act (IDEA) permits its practice of having one representative of the district settle disputes with parents who challenge public school placements of their children by the district’s Committee on Special Education.

In East Ramapo, that lone individual is an Orthodox Jew who allegedly essentially allows every haredi parent who objects to public school placement of their disabled child to send that child to a yeshiva program instead at district expense.

The district claims that IDEA gives it, “broad discretion to fashion mutually agreeable settlements” with parents who challenge public school placements for their disabled children.

East Ramapo is demanding the state pay its attorney fees. It also wants the court to validate its understanding of IDEA.

The New York State Department of Education officials has repeatedly warned East Ramapo that its handling of these placements violates both federal and state laws.

East Ramapo’s lawsuit also claims that if the district follows the state’s wishes it would violate the law and “incur a financial burden it cannot afford.” On the other hand, the suit claims that if the district refuses to obey the state, it risks state penalties.

East Ramapo school board members – all but one of whom is either haredi or Orthodox and do not have any children in district public schools – have long been accused of illegally funneling money and resources to yeshivas. The district is also millions of dollars in debt. Even so, the haredi-dominated school board and the district’s paid administration hired attorneys to represent them that in some cases cost $650 per hour. The board reportedly claims that $2 million of the district’s estimated $9 million deficit come from those legal fees alone.

Approximately 2,000 students in the district are classified as special-ed each year.

A significant number of haredi children are thought to be diagnosed with learning disabilities when children with the same profiles who are not haredi are not.

Special education students merit much more funding from school districts than regular heder and yeshiva students do. The latter’s schools primarily receive government funds for busing assistance and for secular textbooks, while the yeshivas that enroll special education students in their own special education programs – like the one in nearby Kiryas Joel used by East Ramapo –receive thousands of dollars per enrolled student every year.

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Well you know what they say: there's no defense like a good offence. And these guys sure know how to be offensive.

My good friends have a child who has some issues that caused him to be placed in special education class in public school (while the rest of his siblings study in Chabad schools). The whole family is very observant , learns Torah, charitable and active in the community. This child now has much less interest in Torah study and prayer than his siblings. His parents own a successful business and pay plenty of taxes.
If the government of a country that holds freedom of religion to be a G-d given inalienable right enshrined in it's constitution wants to be in the business of education it must make sure that people of all religions living here are not denied an opportunity by what is essentially a subtle form of financial persecution to educate their kids within their faith.
Anything less is a violation of the spirit if not the letter of the constitution as well as a violation of The Universal Declaration of Human Rights.
This shouldn't go on any longer and the state of New York (or the federal government for that matter) should follow the lead of Arizona, Indiana, Florida etc. and pass a law providing school vouchers.

A Yid,

What makes you think that freedom of religion gives parents the right to force religious views on their children? What of the children's religious freedoms?

Anything less is a violation of the spirit if not the letter of the constitution as well as a violation of The Universal Declaration of Human Rights.
_________________________________________

Yes, that's right. It is a violation of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights not to fund the teaching of your children to worship a dead guy who isn't really dead.

Tell us, Yid - why is it that you people only care about the laws of the "goyishe velt" when it suits you?

What is it in the Haredi mindset that says to them: Hey, it looks as if we are about to be indicted on criminal charges. Let's game the system even more. The goyim won't mind, will they?

Yid....you are kidding right? There is also a little detail like the separation of church and state. The US constitution allows for freedom of religion, it does not guarantee a religious education. The problem in ER specifically, is thatnwhilebthe crooked board is lavishing their kids with private education at taxpayers cost, they are CUTTING the special education services to the public school students.....who are 94 percent children of color and 73percent poor! Is that righteous? Is that fair? Next year, there won't be collaborative classes, no self contained classes with an Aid for the most disabled public school. This is something so shameful that I can not even putnitninto words. This smacks of outright racism. How do these men who will celebrate Passover in a few days live with themselves? Gonifs!

A Yid: Don't be surprised when there is an eventual backlash from the non Jewish community. You have the right to pray to your dead rebbe but you don't have the right to a taxpayer funded religious education.

The legal dispute in the East Ramapo school district may be the most important in the field of education since Brown vs. Board of Education. Unfortunately, it may also bring to the public's attention, the "unAmerican" behavior of the rapidly growing Haredi community. Even right to life Republicans, who are in favor of school vouchers, are not in favor of welfare or raising taxes. At a time when the social safety net in the US is being threatened with assorted cutbacks, you won't find much support for hundreds of thousands of Jewish torah scholars. The Haredi can mend their ways or be prepared for the eventual fall out.

Additionally, no private school should receive one dime of taxpayers' money for transportation, nurses, speech therapy, etc., unless the school's curriculum is New York State approved. I have said it before and will again, I pay my school taxes promptly yet have never received any benefit from the District. However, I do not want to be taken advantage of with the misuse of my tax dollar.

Luke.

"they do not want their kids to be together with public school kids. "

Which is the prerogative of any parent but the alternative should not be funded with public money. As long as a public option exists, then it is fair and equal. If you choose otherwise, fund yourself.

Luke.

Luke....you have your finger on the 'Nuclear' option! It seems as though there was a deal back in the days of Supt. Friedman, a sort of gentleman's agreement that the district would would look the other way about the substandard education being given out at the Yeshivas that should have disqualified them from receiving public funds, if in return they would leave our kids away. Well, shortly after Jason left, these trolls took over the board and I guess they felt the deal was no longer in effect....well, they thought wrong. War the want, war they will get. Just getting ready to hit the red button!

Pearl:

I remember the Friedman deal back in the day. He and I were casual friends back then. I was waiting for the "Nuclear Option" to be implemented, it's like the 800 pound elephant "thingy."

Luke.

Why were approximately 10 students taken out of RISE in Chestnut Ridge and placed in KJ this year? RISE tuition is less than half of KJ and the students are taught in the county in which they reside.

to aYid:
I wont repeat any of the posts that appropriately reduce your premise to stupidity. I have another question:
Is there really such a thing as a good Chossid who pays "plenty" of taxes? Did they get a heter from their local Rabbi? I once actually heard that it was necessary. And anyway what is plenty - it is all relative and in my experience the percentage that equals "plenty" seems to go down as one's level of supposed religiosity seems to go up
And anyway, how would you know how much they pay (I'm not talking about how much they collect if they are in retail sales)
Also, do any of their Torah fearing children collect Section 8 or other wonderful programs?

Doughnut!

Come to Schwartzy, my sweet little doughnut!

DOUGHNUT!!!!!!

Yid-Do "plenty of taxes" make up for the cost of one special education child and transportation, books, and maybe free lunches for the rest of the siblings?... Are they typical of that community? The fact is that Rockland cannot afford to provide what you think is fair. We have an unsustainable community that has created a problem that is becoming very bad.

Sidney...if you don't want to send your kids to study with the public school kids, fine with me! Just don't expect the public to fund it....especially if you have 10 kids that we are paying our tax money to support them with such as social welfare, food stamps, section 8, free cell phones, Medicaid, etc. If you can't feed 'em, don't breed 'em!

In response to Sidney, there are special-ed yeshivas where kids could get their segregated education. The only problem is they cost $50,000 per kid per year (or more), and parents can't afford it. So raise the funds privately!

Eli Messiah - You know I'm your friend, so please take this as coming from a friend.

For the sake of fat people everywhere - please stop with the fat jokes and taunts. Over 50% of the USA is overweight. Fat, donuts and weight problems are serious issues for many law abiding citizens outside of the East Ramapo scandle-plagued school district.

Now, if you want to start up with Schwartz about his choice of tie, that's another story! ;)

Seriously, the fat jokes are offensive and childish.

Born freeloaders and rip-off artists - To rub some salt into the wound they procreate 4x faster than the rest of us. Not much difference in London, Berlin, Paris, Antwerp, Amsterdam or Copenhagen ,...

I bet that the doctor that classify the kids as "disabled" is one of them or bought
by them ,...

split --Why shouldnt they procreate 4times faster or more sex food and deception is their mantrah, yes procreation to self agrandize and play g-d with childrens lifes.

"I bet that the doctor that classify the kids as "disabled" is one of them or bought
by them ,..."

Absolutely. When the East Ramapo NYS therapists test the children and deny services, the chasids send their kids to one of their own who testify they ALL need therapy. (Almost like a personal injury attorney will send a client to the attorney's "designated" doctors who always find a problem.)

To Rockey ,...

"Don't be surprised when there is an eventual backlash from the non Jewish community" - There were plenty of those in the past, they call it an expulsions and pogroms. 109 expulsions from different countries and places since 250 AD and God only knows how many pogroms. You would think that they would learn and change their lifestyle but they didn''t, they simply move and search for another sucker that they can milk until the new one becomes piss off, and on, and on ,...

More on this subject google "200 years together" by Alexander Solzhenitsyn for English version (few chapters) on line ,...

"The district normally pays $16,460 of the $25,670 annual tuition per student, the lawsuit says.

The public-school alternative for special-education students is the Board of Cooperative Educational Services, where the annual tuition varies by program and the child’s needs; according to the lawsuit, the district has paid BOCES between $42,974 and $118,489 for a child’s annual tuition.

http://www.lohud.com/article/20130320/NEWS03/303200005/East-Ramapo-sues-state-over-special-education

I remember people bitching that Clintons have sent Chelsea to $10.000 a year private school :),...

Pearl of Wisdom

"they are CUTTING the special education services to the public school students" - No my friend they're stealing it from the kids that realy need and relay on this program not because some designated crook classified them as "disabled" to suck the system and screw the taxpayer ,...

They don't give a damn, you're just a goy created for the sole purpose to serve Jews, according to Rabbi Ovadia Yosef and his ilk, nothing more than a donkey ,...

When ER sends a child to Kiryas Joel for a bi-lingual Yiddish special education program they are not sending the child to private yeshiva but to a public school especially designed for this popullation run by the Kiryas Joel School Distirct.

Just so FailedMessiah's Chassidim get what I am saying I am going to use the terminology of your Rebbe Shmaryah.(Those who are not Shmarya's Chassidim please ignore the theatrics)
Process: the bottom line is that the SCOTUS (Supreme Court) found that vouchers are constitutional they don't violate separation of church and state anymore so than tax deduction for charitable contributions to a synagogue or lehavdil a church or a mosque because the law has a general non religious purpose (school choice which it has been shown improves ) and any benefits to a particular religion are incidental the parents of the child chose what school to use the vouchers for a private secular school, a catholic school , an atheist school or whatever: http://www.blaineamendments.org/recent%20cases/cases.html
The case for school vouchers (10 min YouTube clip) John Stossel, Walter E Williams and Thomas Sowell comment on how market forces can improve education in America.
PS. Those claiming in the comments above that insisting on vouchers creates antisemitic backlash you have it backwards this is not simply an issue important to Orthodox Jews it is important to Catholics, Greek Orthodox , many Protestants any religious denomination that has or wants to have its own schools to bring up their kids according to belief of their parents. The right to observe ones religion includes the right to educate ones children within it either personally or by delegating part of this education to a school.
PPS.
The family I mentioned above is a Chabad BT family. The husband is Sefardi the wife is Ashkenazi they have kids and grandkids. Some of the kids are learning some are working in chinuch or on shlichus. They own a wholesale supply company. Everyone working for them is working there legally as they don't want to break the law.
They cosigned a mortgage on our synagogue/school/community center new building some years ago when it was acquired. They do lots of chessed publicly as well as privately. As they help everyone and are very decent people they are loved and respected by many people around them Jews and non Jews.

Sorry the link didn't go thru:
The case for school vouchers (10 min YouTube clip) John Stossel, Walter E Williams and Thomas Sowell comment on how market forces can improve education in America. http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=gmBNvnTUrfM

posted by A yid:
I don't have to watch the video to know that it is not relevant in this case. Any attempts to reform or improve education apply only to those who actually want an education not those who want money to avoid an education (other than a Gemara learning education).

Abra, honestly the thought didn't occur to me! I was referring to the obvious similarity to Homer Simpson, in intellect and interests. (As we all know, Homer would sell his family for a box of tasty doughnuts.)
But point taken.

Abra: I could lose a few pounds myself, but Schwartzy looks like Homer Simpson with a goatee.

Yochanan:

OMG-d! :)

Luke.

Market forces do not improve education. The profit that needs to be made in schools is education, not $$$$. This move to privatize public education is a big mistake. The blurring of the line that separates church and state, is a big mistake. For more information on educational issues happening in this country, I highly recommend reading Diane Ravitch's Blog. For an interesting study "voucher schools teaching creationism," done by a 19 year old "education activist,"check out the interactive map on billmoyers.com

"When ER sends a child to Kiryas Joel for a bi-lingual Yiddish special education program they are not sending the child to private yeshiva but to a public school especially designed for this popullation run by the Kiryas Joel School Distirct."

Which needs a thorough investigation! Are their "therapists" licensed? Are there three locks on the door? And why is East Ramapo paying for a bilingual Yiddish special education when foreign languages are being cut since the Hasidic board doesn't believe in learning foreign languages?

kiryas joel sounds like it could be a settlement in hades.

If people don't want their kids to be together with public school kids, that's no problem, as long as they don't expect PUBLIC tax dollars to fund their PRIVATE schools. As for "separate but equal" that is a slippery slope indeed.

Eli - I'm sorry. The reference to Homer Simpson went completely over my head. I thought you were just making fun of a fat guy.

Abra, no problem
but I hope the comparison has not inadvertently offended any Homer Simpson fans...

Or Homer Simpson, himself.

"D'oh!" --- Homer Simpson.

@Yid, the Constitution holds freedom of religion to be a G-d given inalienable right...but at the same time it has a clause of separation of state and church, or faith, in other words, you want to exercise your religion, you do it at your own expense, not on the tap of the tax payers, which is what this schools district is doing.

@Yid again, you might want to read this, because ignorant people like you educated at Yeshiva schools are taught that the world and universe are barely 6,00o years old.

http://www.livescience.com/28127-dinosaur-extinction-caused-by-comet.html

"Like duh," as long as it isn't government/tax payer subsidized people who don't want their kids to "mingle" with public school children can send their kids to private school and pay for it out of their own money. I don't wish this school board luck. I think it's reprehensible that NONE of the board members have children in the public schools and it's blatantly obvious that the board members are NOT representing the best interests of the public school children. The state needs to intervene. Children should not be exploited. Children should never become "collateral damage."

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