"…When there is overwhelming evidence that a local school board has persistently failed to act in the best interests of its public school students, the state must act. The Legislature will adjourn on June 17, so time is running out.…"
The chancellor of the New York State Board of Regents, Merryl H. Tisch, and David G. Sciarra, the executive director of the Education Law Center, write in today’s New York Times:
NEW YORK STATE has a proud tradition of local decision making in public education. However, students in the public schools in East Ramapo, about 30 miles north of Manhattan, in Rockland County, are being denied their state constitutional right to a sound basic education by a board that has grossly mismanaged the district’s finances and educational programs.
When there is overwhelming evidence that a local school board has persistently failed to act in the best interests of its public school students, the state must act. The Legislature will adjourn on June 17, so time is running out.…
In recent weeks, in response to a lobbying campaign by the school board, momentum for the bill appears to have slowed. Advocates for the local school board and some leaders in the Orthodox community have accused supporters of state oversight of having anti-Semitic motives.
Nothing could be further from the truth. The legislation is not about punishing one group because of its religious beliefs; it is about acting to make sure that the civil rights of a community of overwhelmingly low-income minority children are not denied and that their constitutional right to a sound basic education is enforced.
Gov. Andrew M. Cuomo has endorsed the need for action in East Ramapo. Lawmakers should join him, reject the false attacks and act in the interests of the students, who have been failed terribly and must not be made to wait any longer.
Read it all here.
[Hat Tips: MarkfromShortHills, Sfek-Sfaika.]