When asked if enough courses would be available for high school kids to graduate in 4 years, the board could not answer. Finally, if the budget revote fails in June East Ramapo will be the first Public School District in New York State to not offer kindergarten.
A reader writes about the East Ramapo school district in Spring Valley, New York:
We are a unique community of 25,000 students...however 17,000 of them attend private religious schools. [Almost all of thise students are haredi.] The school district's public school board had been taken over several years ago by the [haredi] religious bloc vote. Each year making more and more drastic cuts where possible to the public school's non-religious minority students and taking anything [they could] for themselves. This year once again they gained 3 more seats on the board to have a 7 to 2 majority. They also voted down a budget that had already made $7 million in cuts from last year's budget. [Haredim want to cut the public schools' budget even further. East Ramapo was the only public school district of the 54 districts in Rockland, Westchester and Putnam counties to have its budget voted down.] We have lost over 400 teachers/staff in the last 3 years...and more cuts are to come..all coming at the expense of the public school children. Class sizes are growing, programs such as music...art...sports...have been drastically reduced...ap classes for kids are being reduced..and when asked if enough courses would be available for high school kids to graduate in 4 years...the board could not answer. Finally if the budget revote fails in June...we will be the first Public School District in New York State to not offer kindergarten....again to our minority students who need it more than most.
We need your help! Please help!
Haredim have essentially looted the school district. Thousands of textbooks ended up in haredi schools located out of the district. And haredim use the district as a bank to pay for busing and special ed for haredi kids. Former school board president Nathan Rothchild is currently in prison on unrelated fraud charges. Meanwhile, non-haredi children suffer.
You'd think this would be a major news story. But t isn't.
Because hasidim vote in blocs and their leaders dole out political and other favors.
And no D.A. or town manager wants to cross them.
So what can be done to help?
I told him to get a good civil rights lawyer and sue in federal court on behalf of those non-haredi children.
It's really the only chance they have.