Journal News 11/27/16: ER State Monitor Comments on Dec. 6 Referendum re: $58 Million Bond

East Ramapo $58 million bond vote: Six takeaways

Editorial Board meeting with Charles Szuberla, the state monitor for the East Ramapo schools talking about the district’s $58 million bond vote on Dec. 6. in West Nyack Nov. 22, 2016.

As residents in the East Ramapo school district prepare to vote on a $58 million referendum to fix its aging buildings, district officials said the time for the project was right from both an academic and financial perspective.

The referendum, which goes before voters Dec. 6, would provide money for replacing roofs, boilers, windows and HVAC units, as well as repairing sidewalks, floors and bleachers.

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Journal News 11/10/16: Rockland Cty Teacher Unions Call on State to Change Funding of Private Schools

State must prevent the ‘next’ East Ramapo: View

Rockland County’s teachers unions call on the state to change rules for funding private-school programs

As representatives of public school teachers throughout Rockland County, we’d like to express our support for the efforts of Assemblywoman Ellen Jaffee, Assemblyman Ken Zebrowski, and state Sen. David Carlucci to remedy the situation in the East Ramapo Central School District. Several reports by state monitors came to similar conclusions about the grave challenges facing East Ramapo and it’s clear that government action is needed to keep East Ramapo financially viable.

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Journal News 11/2/16: Spring Valley NAACP Supports though Troubled by ERCSD Bond

Spring Valley NAACP: Hopeful on East Ramapo bond

Re “E. Ramapo: $58M bond would fix classrooms, more,” Oct. 18 article:

The Spring Valley NAACP is tentatively pleased, but troubled, over the forthcoming East Ramapo capital bond vote for over $50 million to repair and renovate East Ramapo school facilities.

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Yeshiva Parents to Dr. Wortham: Educate Every Child

On Nov. 2/16, Power of Ten in East Ramapo reported the following on the Oct. 26 ERCSD School Board meeting:

NY State law and the Commissioner of Education regulations make clear that the responsibility for compulsory education of minors is that of the Superintendent of Schools. On October 26th, Naftuli Moster, an advocate for parents of students in NYC and East Ramapo yeshivas, spoke at the school board meeting.  He officially put Dr. Wortham and the Board on notice that most yeshiva students in East Ramapo are not receiving a basic education as required by law.  Any parents concerned about this issues were invited to sign a letter to Dr. Wortham asking her to prevent scare education resources from flowing to institutions where education is not provided.

Appellate Division, First Department Rules School Leadership Team Meetings Must be Open to General Public

In a unanimous opinion, the Appellate Division, First Department, affirmed the decision of New York State Judge Moulton, clearly stating that School Leadership Team meetings held monthly at every public school, and within the control of the Department of Education, is subject to the Open Meeting Law, and must be open to the general public. Moreover, the minutes of such meetings must be published and available as well.

“We are delighted that the First Department confirmed in a unanimous opinion the public’s right to attend these very important School Leadership Team meetings,” said Laura D. Barbieri, of counsel to Advocates for Justice Legal Foundation, representing the Public Advocate, Letitia James, and Class Size Matters. “The Department of Education must comply with the Open Meetings Law and can no longer exclude the media or concerned citizens who have a right to know what is going on in their neighborhood public schools.”

Read the decision below:



Journal News 10/2/16: Auctioned Reform Temple in ER to Become Satmar School

Auctioned Reform temple to become Satmar school

The property was auctioned off in June.

RAMAPO – The former Temple Beth El property on Viola Road has been sold to the United Talmudical Academy of Monsey, a Satmar organization.Once a focal point of Reform Judaism in Rockland, the property at 415 Viola Road in the unincorporated section of the Town of Ramapo was auctioned off in June.

More than 100 prospective buyers expressed interest in the 32,000-square-foot building on a 5.6 acre lot, and four bidders filed their bids at or above $8 million, said Joshua Olshin, managing partner for AuctionAdvisors, which administered the auction.

The winning bid, $9.196 million, was “very far in excess of expectation,” Olshin said.

Olshin didn’t make the winning bidder’s name available immediately after the auction, saying the sale was pending approval from the state Attorney General’s Office. Such approval was necessary to finalize the sale because the owner of the property, the Reform Temple of Rockland, is a non-profit organization, Olshin said at that time. The Attorney General’s Charities Bureau is responsible for supervising charitable organizations.

The state agency approved the sale last week, and the transaction was recorded with the Rockland County Clerk’s Office on Tuesday.

The buyer, United Talmudical Academy, has been running schools in Spring Valley and Ramapo, as well as in the village of Kiryas Joel and in Brooklyn.

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