August 31, 2015 Georgine Hyde was a remarkable woman. She was totally dedicated to the welfare and education of children. What may not be appreciated is how tough she was. Georgine would not give up, and as it became increasingly difficult to pass school budgets, she spent days on the phone rallying the troops and calling people to remind them to vote. [Read more…]
The Journal News August 25, 2015 “A yeshiva owns the rundown house off Route 45 used without its permission as a billboard to describe the East Ramapo school district as “racist,” town police said Tuesday. The Adolph Schreiber Hebrew Academy of Rockland has had plans to tear down the dilapidated one-story structure near Exit 12 from the Palisades Interstate Parkway, police said. [Read more…]
August 20, 2015 The recently appointed East Ramapo monitor Dennis Walcott, former Chancellor of New York City Schools, and MaryEllen Elia, Commissioner of the NYS Board of Education, joined Brian Lehrer on his public radio show to discuss the problems in the district and their roles in addressing those problems. Listen to the show here: https://www.wnyc.org/radio/#/ondemand/523805
The Journal News August 14, 2015 “East Ramapo’s future is a top priority for the state, Education Department Commissioner MaryEllen Elia told hundreds of frustrated parents at a meeting where a team of outside monitors was introduced to oversee the struggling district.“We hear you,” Elia told a packed audience Thursday at Rockland Community College. [Read more…]
The Journal News August 5, 2015 “East Ramapo school Board President Yehuda Weissmandl said that a new civil lawsuit targeting board members is counterproductive and will unnecessarily drain district funds. The new civil complaint, filed Tuesday in state Supreme Court, calls on board members to reimburse the district $2 million in legal fees spent fighting a federal class-action civil rights lawsuit brought by parents in 2012. Plaintiffs state that board members violated their financial management responsibilities by hiring “excessively expensive” attorneys to represent them. Pro bono law firm Advocates for Justice represented parents in both cases.
The new lawsuit names current and past board members as well as their law firms — Philadelphia-based Morgan Lewis and Bockius and New York City-based Proskauer Rose — as defendants. It calls on the court to compel the defendants to reimburse the district all legal fees in excess of $187,500 associated with their defense in the federal class action lawsuit between 2012 and 2014.” Read the complete Journal News story here.
Original post August 2, 2015 When the news broke that the newly elected East Ramapo Board member Juan Ramirez quit after just one meeting, the move caused quite a few raised eyebrows. The most interesting, and thoughtful response was posted by Steve White on his Power of Ten blog. Here’s what Steve had to say about this very odd maneuver: [Read more…]
Posted by The Rockland County Times — July 16th, 2015
BY JANIE ROSMAN A multitude of allegations against the East Ramapo Central School District are detailed in a lawsuit — Montesa v. Schwartz, 12-cv-06057, U.S. District Court, Southern District of New York (Manhattan) — filed on behalf of parents, students and taxpayers by public interest law firm Advocates for Justice on August 8, 2012. [Read more…]
East Ramapo superintendent to lose post
The Journal News July 19, 2015 “The East Ramapo school district will soon remove beleaguered Superintendent Joel Klein from his post, almost a year before his contract is set to expire, several sources told The Journal News. In recent weeks, the school board has faced intensifying pressure to distance itself from him – from community protests in front of Klein’s home demanding his resignation to state Regents Chancellor Merryl Tisch calling for the same. The district, while not confirming that any action was imminent, did confirm “that Klein was in the last year of his contract and that the school board would soon develop a process for replacement.” Complete Journal News Coverage here.
Journal News Editorial “Calls to remove Superintendent Joel Klein – by protesters at each meeting, and by New York State Regents Chancellor Merryl Tisch – must be heeded. Klein last year blamed older immigrant students coming to the district for damaging the district’s graduation rates. “They want to learn the language. They want free lunch, breakfast, and whatever else they can get. They know they cannot get a diploma,” Klein said during an August 2014 meeting. Protests have been held ever since, at just about every school board meeting, including Tuesday’s. Klein has said his words were distorted and taken out of context. In a district where most students are children of color, where many are immigrants, where dozens of languages are spoken, such misunderstanding and stereotyping cannot stand. Klein must go.” Read the full text of the editorial here.
July 11, 2015 (Contributed by Michael Bongiorno) In 1957 John F. Kennedy won a Pulitzer Prize for writing Profiles in Courage, a volume of short biographies describing acts of bravery and integrity by eight United State Senators who did the right thing despite criticism and damage to their political careers. In New York we have the complete opposite: “Profiles in Cowardice”, where self-serving politicians do the wrong thing and sacrifice the future of thousands of schoolchildren in order to retain the support of the ultra-religious and electorally powerful bloc vote. [Read more…]