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Rockland County, NY - Walcott’s Appearance At First East Ramapo School Board Meeting Attracts Large Crowd

Published on: August 19, 2015 07:30 PM
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Rockland County, NY - Parents and schoolchildren turned out in droves Tuesday night to attend the first East Ramapo school board meeting at which the newly-appointed state monitor and former New York City Schools Chancellor Dennis Walcott was present.

More than 200 people, some holding protest signs, gathered at the 90-minute meeting to hear from passionate community members who shared their concerns in both English and Spanish.

Intent on hearing from all parties, Walcott listened to the translated remarks from the Spanish speakers via a headset. Yehuda Weissmandl, the board president, and other trustees did not don headphones, prompting calls of “They don’t care,” from audience members. “There is a lot of passion coming from people who want to get a solid education for their children,” Walcott told The Journal News (http://lohud.us/1MxVGk0). “That is natural.”

For years, the East Ramapo school district has been plagued by allegations of misallocation of funding, with public school parents contending that the bulk of the district’s monies go toward private school yeshiva students and not to public school children.

Parents also contended that their children have not had art and music programs for the past two years since the district cut funding for those courses, and have continued the call for the resignation of Superintendent Joel Klein and members of the ultra-Orthodox run board.


Still, Walcott says he feels the situation is “manageable.” He is expected to visit the district on a continual basis to meet with all stakeholders before devising a plan and making recommendations for the district.

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Read Comments (7)  —  Post Yours »


 Aug 19, 2015 at 07:39 PM Anonymous Says:

Why would you assume that Reb Weissmandl and the other frum Jewish trustees need a translator to understand the testimony from Spanish speaking residents. Many yidden are fluent in Spanish and these Trustees are highly educated individuals and they likely felt they didn't need the earphones.


 Aug 19, 2015 at 08:14 PM Jacob Says:

Just wanted to inform the readers that the comment about board members not wearing there headphones is a brazent lie.
With the exception of one board member that understands Spanish.
The Journal News and its reporters will always find a way to enrage the community


 Aug 19, 2015 at 09:40 PM eliezer318 Says:

The problem is that where the Rambam is concerned, the school-board is like an Am Haaretz. If memory serves, the Rambam poskens that when Yidden have soverignty they are m'huyev to teach their non-Jewish neighbors the Sheva Mitzvos shel B'nei Noach. IMHO that requires the schoolboard as it is presently constituted of Torah-observant Yidden to see to it that the East Ramapo educational system is a good, respectable and effective system. Ethics and morality and a "moment of silence" to start the day should have been "must" items on the schoolboard's agenda. Agenda, instead, has, indeed, been focused solely on our own needs, to reduce the school tax however possible. The school taxes are, truthfully, an onerous and unfair burden on the Jewish community. If I read events correctly, the schoolboard's strategy, perhaps, is to demonstrate through generating a large-enough financial crisis that the State of New York will step in to even out the burden. That is, State funding is sought to finance the school district so that taxes can be made to be more reasonable. For example, all the activity programs and special needs programs, at least, could be restoredstate-funding. -more-


 Aug 19, 2015 at 09:40 PM PaulinSaudi Says:

It is always good when the public takes an interest and attends meetings like this.


 Aug 19, 2015 at 09:50 PM eliezer318 Says:

So the schoolboard should change its mode of conduct to portray themselves more as advocates for the entire community, stressing how important is their struggle to obtain the state aid. Afternoon activities are, in fact, essential for developing good, competent citizens.

The strictly survivalist, chauvinistic approach is a carry-over from our European "experience" - if I am not for myself, who will be for me? But the American golus offers a special opportunity to also look outward, with a view to positively influencing the immediate s'viva. And if I am for myself alone, what am I?


 Aug 20, 2015 at 05:18 AM Abba_S Says:

The Public School supports want to get rid of the Frum members of the Board.and the board isn't interested in doing so and so doesn't listen to them..This is similar to a couple who fight and want a divorce but at the same time want sfull financial support..

A simple solution is to divide the district into an Orthodox district and their property tax would be used for their educational use and a public school supports district and their taxes would be used for their educational need.. This way the public schools would be run by their supports and end the fights.

Another solution is to merge school district so that the Orthodox are a minority in the district. The problem is as the number of Orthodox increase they will again be able to control the board to a larger district..

Walcott has to recommend what to do.


 Aug 20, 2015 at 10:25 AM albroker Says:

u see folks if Trump and not this ISIS sympathizer was president we wouldnt have all these illegals using up resources and driving up taxes.


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