Matthew Kern President Suffern School Board

Yeshiva parents removed from Suffern Central School Board ballot

“Two challengers for the local school board were removed from the ballot Tuesday night by the Suffern Central Board of Education.

Matthew Kern President Suffern School Board
Suffern School Board President Matthew Kern

District officials maintain the candidates had not consistently resided in the district for a full year before the May 17 vote, a district rule.

Both candidates – Chaim Feig of Suffern and Lieby Bruer of Wesley Hills – send their children to yeshivas and cite the district’s rules regarding private-school transportation as a key motivator for their challenge of school board President Matthew Kern and trustee Dr. Chris Nicpon.

The school board voted on separate action items, first to remove Feig and then to remove Bruer. The board voted 5-0 both times, with both Nicpon and Kern abstaining.

Suffern Central school board: Challengers knock district’s yeshiva busing policies

Neither attended the meeting at the district’s administration building.

Bruer issued a statement Tuesday night that questioned the timing of the meeting and how the district notified him of the potential disqualification. He then addressed a potential run next year if busing issues are not addressed.

“You have another year of ‘safety in numbers’ on the Board by having the private school community unrepresented, and the private school community has another year to continue to grow at its current or even more accelerated rate with the expectation that the population of non-public school children will be well over the 30% mark in the coming months,” he said in a statement to the school board.

Kern, who has been on the school board for six years and president for the last three, and Nicpon, a trustee for three years, are now unopposed.

About 1,452 children in Suffern Central attend private schools, or about a quarter of all school-age kids. Nationally, on average, about 10% of students attend private institutions, according to data from the National Center for Education Statistics.  About five years ago, when Suffern’s busing policies shifted, the private-school population was less than half of what it is today, at around 623.”

Read the complete Journal News coverage here.