Journal News 4/3/16: Slate of 4 Candidates Running for ERCSD Board Seats

Slate of four candidates campaign for East Ramapo BOE

 Kim Foskew, Jean Fields, Sabrina Charles-Pierre, and Natashia Morales are petitioning to be on the May ballot for the E. Ramapo school board

SPRING VALLEY – A slate of four East Ramapo school board challengers petitioning to be on May’s ballot said Saturday they support restoring all-day kindergarten, want to see a safe school environment, more extra-curricular opportunities and to curb the cuts in staff.

Read more…

Journal News 3/30/16: NAACP President Seeking Respect & Dialogue in E. Ramapo

Letter: Seeking dialogue, respect in East Ramapo

According to the biblical Book of Esther, Haman was an adviser to the king in ancient Persia who plotted to kill the Jewish people. His defeat by hanging is commemorated during Purim.

During the recent Purim holiday, we witnessed the hanging in effigy of a life-sized doll allegedly depicting Haman — although this doll was black-faced, wearing a hoodie and beaded dreadlocks.

Last year at this time, outside a Spring Valley yeshiva a similar incident occurred and the police were notified. The head of the school acknowledged the inappropriateness of the occurrence, apologized and assured the NAACP he would initiate racial, ethnic and cultural sensitivity into the school’s curriculum.        Read more…

#4Women4ALL: Meet the Candidates Running for ERCSD School Board

#4Women4ALL are: Jean Fields, Kim Foskew, Natashia Morales, and Sabrina Charles-Pierre. They advocate for a quality education for ALL children in East Ramapo. They have a vision and goals for high academic achievement for all students that will inspire parents and other stakeholders to have confidence in the local public schools. They have a mix of skills and backgrounds that will help the school board represent the diversity of the East Ramapo community.

Jean Fields is the former principal of Ramapo High School. Kim Foskew is a former president of the East Ramapo PTA Council. Natashia Morales is a public school parent and activist. Sabrina Charles Pierre is a current school board member. Together, they are #4Women4ALL!

Journal News 3/24/16: State Inertia Fails E. Ramapo

View: State’s inertia fails East Ramapo

New York leaders once again ignore problems, just as they did in early days of Kiryas Joel divide

For over a dozen years, or more than the entire education of an individual child, the political decision-makers of the State of New York have failed to find a solution to East Ramapo school district’s difficult problems.

One side talks about not having sufficient resources; the other talks about discrimination against minority children. Both may be right. Meanwhile, the state performs periodic investigations, but does little to resolve the issues, including dwindling education quality for public schoolchildren, poor management of the district’s limited resources and a rapid growth of a private-school community that demands resources.         Read more…

New City Patch 3/18/16: Rockland Cty Legislaters Vote to Support Monitor Legislation

Rockland Legislature Votes To Support Monitor With Veto Power In East Ramapo Schools

Two Nyack lawmakers called on the New York State Senate to stop blocking the plan.

Ed Day Presses Sen. Flanagan to Support Monitor Legislation

On behalf of the Rockland County Executive, Ed Day sent a letter to Senator Flanagan, expressing disappointment in his lack of support of East Ramapo students.  Mr. Day invited Senators Flanagan and Marcelino to tour the East Ramapo schools, noting that they had taken strong stands without ever having visited the district.  Mr. Day indicated he would request support from the other Counties’ Executives as well. (See the letter below).

Ed Day Ltr to Sen Flanagan 3-16-16


Forward 3/20/16: Ultra-Orthodox Experience with Bigotry

Purim and Encounters With Bigotry — Including Our Own

Some time ago, I came across the Twitter feed of a prominent American Jewish writer in which I noticed several disparaging remarks about ultra-Orthodox Jews, with liberal use of words like “parasites,” “psycho Haredim” and other choice denigrations.

Whoa , I thought, that’s a bit harsh , and I tweeted at the writer, saying so. Another writer, an accomplished Israeli journalist, came to the first writer’s defense: “A substantial minority [of ultra-Orthodox] are truly awful.” As if she deserved credit for admitting they weren’t all so.

It’s an odd place to find myself in, given my own frequent criticisms of ultra-Orthodoxy, but it’s hard not to see in the above attitudes something stronger than mere criticism. It strikes me as something uglier: intolerance, disdain, animosity even — not just toward ideas, but also toward people. There’s a strain of real hatred, except it’s often hardest to know it when it’s us, ourselves, directing it at our own.         Read more…

Journal News 3/20/16: Is there Room for All in E. Ramapo?

Editorial: Room for all in Ramapo?

The town’s diverse communities need to find a way to co-exist. Every day, it looks more difficult.


Last week brought another FBI raid in town, with another round of accusations that federal monies had been misappropriated by those affiliated with the Orthodox Jewish community. Ongoing tension over zoning regulations, or lack thereof, builds. The distrust continues in the East Ramapo school district, where years of mismanagement by an Orthodox-dominated board have brought efforts to install a state monitor to provide oversight.          Read more…


Rockland County Times 3/17/16: Ed Day Letter to Sen. Flanagan Re Support of Monitr Bill


The County Executive’s Corner: Fighting For East Ramapo

Posted March 17th, 2016

By Rockland County Executive Ed Day

I sent a letter today to New York State Senator John Flanagan. In it, I expressed my extreme disappointment with his recent comments regarding the East Ramapo Central School District. Both Senator Flanagan and his colleague, Senator Carl Marcellino, have publicly opposed a monitor with veto power for the deeply troubled school system.

In a school district where 90% of public school students are children of color, the majority Orthodox Jewish school board continues to put first the interests of private school students whose parents choose private schools. This is not my observation, but rather the assessment of state-appointed fiscal monitor Hank Greenberg.         Read more…

Journal News 3/16/16: Resolution Supporting E. Ramapo Monitor Passes Rockland Legislature

East Ramapo: Resolution supporting monitor passes Rockland Legislature

“It shows that all of Rockland cares about East Ramapo,” said Antonio Luciano, a longtime advocate for public school students. “Not just East Ramapo parents.”

The largely symbolic resolution passed across party lines during the Rockland Legislature’s regular meeting Tuesday.

“It shows that all of Rockland cares about East Ramapo,” said Antonio Luciano, a longtime advocate for public school students. “Not just East Ramapo parents.”         Read more…