Monitor can protect East Ramapo school board, too
(Photo: John Meore/The Journal News)
Re "'Opportunity Deferred': 19 reforms for E. Ramapo," Dec. 14 article:
The East Ramapo school board
needs a monitor with veto power to protect it from its own
constituency. For years, the school board did everything possible to
hold down taxes and provide its own Hasidic community with universal
busing and “appropriate” education for its special education
students while it told its constituents that any complaints coming
from the public school community were unfair and motivated by
This message had no real
costs for the religious community until national media got involved,
clergy organized and went to Albany to complain and the lawsuit of
public school parents against the school board progressed to the
point where it has become a real threat.
Finally there was also the realization that the deferred maintenance on school buildings could no longer be ignored but a $40 million bond for school maintenance proposed by the board could not survive withering criticism.
Until now, Gov. Andrew Cuomo
has sat on his hands knowing that while the monitor bill might pass
in the Democratic New York Assembly his Republican allies in the
Senate would kill the bill.
It will be interesting to
see if New York State’s large and growing Hasidic community will
allow a real monitor bill to pass in the Senate. In the meantime
let us hope that our East Ramapo school board will work to get us
out of the hole it created. We must all work together to save our
The writer is chairman of Preserve Ramapo.