“It’s time for the board of East Ramapo to stop living in this fantasy where the world doesn’t see them as being misguided in their treatment of these public school children, and do something to show…they are going to try to act to repair a very damaged relationship” with the wider community.
NY State Schools Chancellor Merryl Tisch Calls On Haredi-Controlled School Board In Scandal-Plagued East Ramapo To Fire District’s School’s Superintendent
Shmarya Rosenberg • FailedMessiah.com
The bill to have a state-appointed monitor oversee the scandal-plagued hared-controlled East Ramapo school district passed in the New York State Assembly earlier this month but failed to pass by the state senate before the legislative session ended and summer break began after haredi organizations, including Agudath Israel of America, and the haredi-controlled school board to strongly lobbied against it.
The Wall Street Journal reports that prompted state schools Chancellor Merryl Tisch to call for the local haredi-controlled school board to fire district schools Superintendent Joel Klein to show that it really wants to fix the problems that have plagued the schools under Klein’s watch.
Haredim, including those on the school board, send their children to private religious schools, not the district’s public schools.
In all, only about 9,000 children – many poor and minority –attend the district’s public schools, while 24,000 – almost all haredi – attend private religious schools. The private schools get government funding for busing and for educating students with learning disabilities and certain other special needs.
There have been persistent allegations by public school parents and activists, most backed by at least some credible evidence, that the haredi-controlled public school board and Klein have been exploiting the requirement to fund those legitimate services for haredi religious schools to send those private schools more money and resources than allowed under law, even in at least one case paying for religious textbooks.
That and the board’s often callous treatment of public school students and parents, including regular violations of the state’s open meetings law, have soured the relationship between the board and the school district on one hand and the public school community on the other.
Yesterday, Tisch called on the haredi-controlled school board to “stop living [a] fantasy.”
“It’s time for the board of East Ramapo to stop living in this fantasy where the world doesn’t see them as being misguided in their treatment of these public school children, and do something to show…they are going to try to act to repair a very damaged relationship” with the wider community, Tisch said.
Governor Andrew Cuomo, who backed the bill to appoint the monitor even though he is frequently exceedingly deferential to the haredi community, reportedly said the East Ramapo problem is “very difficult” and would be revisited in the next legislative session.