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Rockland County, NY - East Ramapo Is Only District To Vote Down School Budget

Published on: May 16, 2012 09:07 PM
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left to right. rothman solomon lefkowitzleft to right. rothman solomon lefkowitz

Rockland County, NY - Voters in New York’s lower Hudson Valley’s fifty four school districts turned out yesterday to approve proposed budgets for the upcoming school year, with one notable exception:  Rockland County’s East Ramapo School District, which encompasses New Square and the greater Monsey area.

With 22,000 private school students in a district that numbers 30,000 children, East Ramapo’s demographics are unlike any other school district in the United States.  The annual school budget vote, which also includes electing school board members, is always a highly contested event, with parents of yeshiva students coming out in droves to have their voices heard, and this year voters rejected the proposed $191.9 million budget by a vote of 7,798 to 5,742.

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Winners in yesterday’s school board election were Yonah Rothman, Jacob Lefkowitz and incumbent Eli Solomon, which brings the number of Orthodox Jews on the nine person school board up to seven.

With union contracts up for renewal this year, the newly elected board hopes to renegotiate contracts in a way that will better accommodate all students in the district.

“This is a unique district,” Jacob Lefkowitz told VIN News.  “East Ramapo used to have 20,000 students enrolled in its public schools but they never adjusted to the fact that their enrollment is considerably lower and they are going to have to find ways to cut the fat from the budget.  Teachers in East Ramapo average salaries of $120,000 a year and pay considerably less in health care than teachers in other school districts.  There are 20,000 heimishe families paying school taxes and we need to do a better job allocating those funds between all students in the district, not just the ones enrolled in our public schools.”
The newly elected board also hopes to lobby Albany for a change in the way funds are distributed to school districts.  Currently the state allocates funding only for children who are enrolled in the school district.  In the case of East Ramapo, that means that state funding is divided among 30,000 students while funding is only being received for the 8,000 public school students.
“By changing the state’s formula to allocate funding for all children registered in the school district, East Ramapo would receive funding for all 30,000 students, which would ease much of the financial burden on the district,” explained Lefkowitz. 


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Read Comments (13)  —  Post Yours »

2

 May 16, 2012 at 11:09 PM Anonymous Says:

Do I see this right?

$191.000.000.00 for 8000 children?

No wonder it was voted down.

3

 May 16, 2012 at 11:20 PM torontonian Says:

And if you think think that is unfair try living in Ontario Canada. Where you must choose between directing your taxes to the public or Catholic school. So Catholic schools are fully funded while Our Jewish schools don't get a penny. If you rent an apartment it is the tenant who decides where the tax dollars go!

4

 May 16, 2012 at 11:57 PM hershel Says:

this is a wonderful thing!
hopefully in our lifetime privet schools in Monsey will get the the same funding as public schools.

5

 May 17, 2012 at 12:38 AM chiefchacham Says:

I live in the school district. Our school taxes are up there with the top five in the whole country. Think about that! There is a need to for some serious renegotiating with the unions to reduce costs. We also need more part-time teachers and contract work to reduce the cost of benefits. We should also partner with virtual k12 providers and move some of the classes to virtual classrooms where that makes sense.

6

 May 17, 2012 at 06:11 AM fishball Says:

And the book "the elders of Zion" was read by you. It's shameful that you really believe all this garbage you wrote. Feel better

7

 May 17, 2012 at 06:40 AM tzaddik Says:

Reply to #2  
Anonymous Says:

Do I see this right?

$191.000.000.00 for 8000 children?

No wonder it was voted down.

for 8000 students, do the match its about 23,000 per child annual - approximately same cost as yeshiva and the ps teachers probably get paid alot more

8

 May 17, 2012 at 07:15 AM Anonymous Says:

Any fraud has been by the Preserve Ramapo crowd.

The former president was no friend to the chassidim. He drove over his tefilin when they did not agree with his position. He is not sitting for embezzlement and it had nothing to do with the board of Ed so your linking is ridiculous.

The voter fraud was perpetrated by preserve Ramapo goons who set up many "inspectors" to intimidate frum voters. Not the first time they have done this. Lawyers had to be around to protect drum voter's rights. The books being printed without signatures was done by the Bd of Elections. In the past and I am sure now it was the preserve Ramapo group that had outsiders come on to vote.

And the ratio of bd members problem does not even equal the ratio of school age children to registered legal voters. The board of Ed represents all students in the district.

9

 May 17, 2012 at 08:01 AM solakerman Says:

i was on the board for 3 years, you DONT know what you’re talking about, there is little if any fraud. There are 3 main issues; unfunded state mandates, unrealistic pension obligations and the continues abuse from the unions.

10

 May 17, 2012 at 09:12 AM Anonymous Says:

Reply to #7  
tzaddik Says:

for 8000 students, do the match its about 23,000 per child annual - approximately same cost as yeshiva and the ps teachers probably get paid alot more

Which Yeshiva costs 23,000 per child? For a day school? I have children who dorm and it costs less than 2/3 of that amount?

11

 May 17, 2012 at 10:28 AM Anonymous Says:

Reply to #10  
Anonymous Says:

Which Yeshiva costs 23,000 per child? For a day school? I have children who dorm and it costs less than 2/3 of that amount?

That's a good point, however the real question is, which PS district in America spends 23k per child.... Yeshivas have Hebrew an English, nothing to compare too.

12

 May 17, 2012 at 12:57 PM SHMOO2 Says:

Did any women even run for school board positions? I didn't notice any, not that
that means anything necessarily.

13

 May 17, 2012 at 04:39 PM Anonymous Says:

We need to this in Brooklyn as well

14

 May 18, 2012 at 10:48 AM tsosco Says:

All I can say that that this is a perfect example of a Chillul Hashem!!!

15

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