Associated Press 8/15/15: ER Gets Monitor Appointed

Aug 15, 2:31 PM EDT

District riven by religious favoritism claims gets monitor

SUFFERN, N.Y. (AP) — When his fifth-grade son struggled with a question on primary colors posed by the TV show “Are You Smarter Than a 5th Grader,” David Curry saw just how bad things have gotten in the troubled East Ramapo school district.

Divided for a decade between the ultra-Orthodox Jews who control the school board – but don’t send their children to public schools – and parents who say their children are the victims of unfair budget cuts, East Ramapo has seen meetings degenerate into shouting matches and a federal lawsuit brought against the district.

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Wall Street Journal 8/17/15: NYS Education Commissioner Appoints ER Monitor

Former NYC Schools Chancellor Dennis Walcott to Serve as East Ramapo Monitor

He promises to take an active role in the troubled school district

Former New York City Schools Chancellor Dennis Walcott, in 2013. Former New York City Schools Chancellor Dennis Walcott, in 2013. Photo: Peter Foley for The Wall Street Journal

The former New York City schools chancellor also pledged to go to parent meetings, beauty salons and street corners to get real-time information on families’ grievances.

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NY Daily News Aug 17/15: Michael Blake Defends Success Academy Co-location with Bronx 145

Michael Blake: Let these students learn in peace

Michael Blake NEW YORK DAILY NEWS 08/17/2015 5:00 AM ET

NYC PAPERS OUT. Social media use restricted to low res file max 184 x 128 pixels and 72 dpi

Every kid deserves a chance

In any discussion about education, the conversation should revolve around our kids and what’s best for them. Disputes by adults should never get in the way of a student’s right to a fair and equal education.

That’s why I am protective of every school and child in my district. And that’s why I am a staunch supporter of Success Academy Bronx 3, a high-performing school in a community that doesn’t have nearly enough of them.

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Aug 13/15: NYSED Commissioner MaryEllen Ellia Introduces Dennis Walcott as Monitor for ERCSD

NYSED Commissioner Maryellen Ellia announces that Dennis M. Walcott will head a team that will monitor district operations and provide recommendations to the Commissioner about decisions and actions of the school board in East Ramapo.  Below are the press release issued by NYSED and a video taken of the press conference and Q & A.

Press Release 8-13-15 NYSED re Dennis Walcott Appointment as ER Monitor

Journal News Aug 10/15: NYS Education Commissioner to Make ER Announcement

Education officials to make East Ramapo announcement Thursday

Chancellor Merryl Tisch and Commissioner MaryEllen Elia are slated to attend the 1:30 p.m. announcement at the Cultural Arts Center at Rockland Community College.

“There’s so much community concern,” said Jeanne Beattie, a spokeswoman for the state Department of Education. “Obviously we recognize that.”

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A4J Files New Breach of Fiduciary Duty Lawsuit for ER Parents vs. Board & Law Firms

On Aug. 4/15, A4J filed a class action lawsuit in NY Supreme Court (and a Petition to the State Education Commissioner) claiming that the ER school board members breached their fiduciary duty to the district and the students by hiring 2 law firms that charged excessive legal fees.  The plaintiffs seek reimbursement to the district by the firms and the board members of the amount in excess of what the fees ought to have been based on legal finding by Judge Bucaria that the legal fees to date (paid out of public funds) were $2 million higher than they should have been.  The Complaint can be read below.

ERCSD Complaint 8-3-15 final

Journal News Aug 6/15: ER Board President says new Lawsuit Drains District Resources

E. Ramapo prez: Parent lawsuit drain on schools

The latest parent-driven suit, which charges board members with breach of fiduciary duty and demands they repay the district $2 million, will “serve to drive up the very legal fees they are complaining about,” Weissmandl said. “It will only siphon off resources that could be used for school programs.”

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Journal News July 20/15: ER Superintendent Klein to Lose Post

Sources: East Ramapo superintendent to lose post

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.

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