FROM RAMAPO WHAT THEY DON’T WANT YOU TO KNOW:
Community Outreach Center’s Hersh Horowitz Presides Over “ESCSD Funeral”
*Vote NO on the bond*
*Vote NO on the bond*
It does not matter in East Ramapo whether you are Orthodox, ultra-Orthodox, secular, Hispanic, Black, White, or Green because all of East Ramapo’s children have been deprived of an education.
In the public schools in East Ramapo despite the best efforts of teachers, parents and activists the resources have been scarce and the schools in disrepair, leaving the public school children to study without proper textbooks, in classrooms known to leak during rainstorms. The schools of that district barely offer core classes. There are few art classes, if any and music is a luxury.
The public schools in East Ramapo, once the best in the State, lack the resources necessary to provide an education consistent with New York State mandates. Funding is grossly inadequate and the Board of Education, comprised in disproportionate part of ultra-Orthodox men blames the State.
There is no acknowledgement on the part of the Trustees of the East Ramapo Board of Education and their spokespeople that money has been siphoned off for years for the ultra-Orthodox and Orthodox religious education. The premise has been that there are more private school, Yeshiva educated children and more resources should be provided for their edcuation. Separation of Church and State be damned.
In contrast the private Yeshivas, funded with public taxpayer money, have the resources but the children are deprived an education by an establishment which actively chains them to functional illiteracy, mathematical ignorance and a non-science based religious education… in Yiddish. Separation of Church and State, an unknown concept.
Presently there is a public meeting at Rockland Community College, located in East Ramapo intended to explain how $3M in New York State aid will be allocated. Perhaps Church and State can walk on separate sides of the road….
Lohud reported on September 27, 2016
The state education commissioner has approved the East Ramapo school district’s plan for using $3 million in state aid to create universal full-day kindergarten and restore arts programs in grades K-6, among other initiatives.
Commissioner MaryEllen Elia said Monday that she had given her blessing to the plan, and also said she would join state-appointed monitors Charles Szuberla and John Sipple at a public meeting to discuss the initiatives at 6 p.m. Wednesday at Rockland Community College’s Cultural Arts Center, 145 College Road, Ramapo.
Full-day kindergarten and other programs will start Oct. 6, according to a district spokesperson.
The district conducted its own public hearing to receive community input on the expenditure plan on Sept. 7. The school board approved the plan on Sept. 13 and it was submitted to Elia on Sept. 20.ADVERTISING
“These plans represent the district’s path forward to ensure progress continues and to ensure the educational rights of every East Ramapo student are met,” Commissioner Elia said in a statement. “Chuck Szuberla, John Sipple and Superintendent Wortham have worked as quickly as possible to put a long-term strategic academic and fiscal improvement plan in place that is both thorough and thoughtful. It continues the work already done to repair the trust of the East Ramapo community, while recognizing there is still work to do.”
The $3 million in supplemental funding was approved under a state oversight law that required the development of the strategic academic plan, as well as a comprehensive expenditure plan, in consultation with Szuberla.
In 2012, East Ramapo went from full-day to half-day kindergarten amid $14 million worth of budget cuts. Last year, two sections were added. Four new full-day kindergarten classes were included in the district’s $224 million budget approved by voters in May.
Here’s what’s being proposed for the $3 million:
- $1.2 million to hire six monolingual kindergarten teachers and four bilingual kindergarten teachers.
- Up to 11 sections of full-day kindergarten would be created, depending upon the number of children who enroll.
- The bulk of kindergarten funding, $670,000, would go towards salaries, while the remainder would cover classroom materials, instructional technology and building adjustments to accommodate new classes.
- Restoring art, music, dance and theater classes for students in grades K-6 will cost around $1.7 million.
- The district aims to hire 12 teachers for arts instruction, the majority of whom were previously laid off and are on the preferred eligibility list (PELL).
The strategic plans can be found on the East Ramapo Central School District website.
To read the article in its entirety click here.
“YOU VOIDED OUR VOTES” — The East Ramapo School Board shocked the public tonight with an electoral double whammy by first appointing the mysterious Joseph Heimowitz to its open board seat and then announcing that Sabrina Charles-Pierre was ineligible to her two-year term due to an “administrative oversight.”
After a two-hour executive session, board members did not appoint former Ramapo High School principal Jean Fields (who received 4,000 votes in the May election) to its open seat, choosing Heimowitz (who was not present and whose name elicited an audible “who’s that?” from the audience) instead. When approached after the meeting, President Weissmandl said Heimowitz was a “businessman” who “has children” and is “involved in educational projects.”
Meanwhile, district lawyer Douglas Gerhardt said that, because Sabrina Charles-Pierre was elected to complete the term of a vacated seat, she needed to have been sworn in within 30 days of her election. Since that did not happen — due to whose fault, it is not yet clear — the board supposedly had no choice but to appoint her to a one-year term.
Those in attendance were shocked by the news and rushed to the dais to demand answers, exclaiming “you voided our votes!” Did they just appoint another white man to the board while invalidating the lawful election of a woman of color? The Journal News and Board of Regents have been notified. We’re alerting public interest lawyers as well. The New York State Education Department has yet to appoint new monitors to the district, but this newest breach of trust must hasten the arrival of Albany’s eyes and ears.
We knew we needed to remain vigilant, but it’s so troubling that it had to happen so soon. Put Tuesday, August 23 on your calendar. It’s the next school board meeting, where we must demand accountability for invalidating the votes of the public.
In our view this is a sad day for Rockland County’s East Ramapo Central School District. It is a tragedy for the 8000 public school students who will be losing to the ultra-Orthodox run school board. As we see it East Ramapo is lost for public school children. The money will do nothing but fund bus transportation to the ultra-Orthodox children attending yeshivas. We cannot find fault with the ultra-Orthodox alone.
After all, the last ten years have been about voter apathy and the public school parents were in large part indifferent to the need to vote. There was an opportunity to vote in a more balanced school board this past year and it did not pass. Hopefully Elia will pay attention to what is happening and not assume that this is the end of the story.
NEW YORK – A deal that would end years of tension in the East Ramapo school district is set to pass the state legislature on Thursday, denying the veto-empowered overseer some legislators sought.
Under the breakthrough legislation, which was agreed upon by Gov. Andrew Cuomo, the Democratic-led Assembly and the Republican Senate, the district will receive an additional $3 million next year. This money is earmarked solely for the district’s dwindling public school population and will be overseen by state Education Commissioner MaryEllen Elia.
The $3 million, which will be funded jointly by each chamber and the governor, is a minute portion of the board’s overall approximately $225 million annual school budget. But the board that serves the district which comprises the Torah centers of Monsey, Spring Valley and New Square, has come under increased scrutiny as they were forced to use their limited school funds to cover required services to private schools, such as busing, special education and textbooks.
Elia, who has cooperated with the Orthodox community in crafting the compromise bill, was seen as an acceptable alternative to the appointment of a monitor with veto power, as local lawmakers and anti-Orthodox Rockland County groups preferred. She will have authority to offer recommendations on the $3 million, not the entire school budget. And the school board, whose majority of Orthodox Jews represents the district’s make-up, can override her.
Yehuda Weissmandl, president of the school board, told Hamodia that he was “very happy” with the deal reached in Albany.
“The state is acknowledging that this is not a monitor issue but a funding issue,” Weissmandl said. “Hopefully we can build on it. But nonetheless this is the beginning of a recognition by the state that this district needs more money.”
Weissmandl said that the intention of lawmakers was to add to it in coming years, eventually reaching $5 million to $6 million a year.
The deal was agreed to Monday night and will be voted on by the Senate and Assembly on Thursday. The legislature is then scheduled to adjourn for the year, unless the governor calls for them to remain an additional day.
The East Ramapo saga began ten years ago, when the Orthodox community for the first time elected the majority of the nine-member school board. While the state uses property taxes to fund the public school system, the education budget also goes toward certain services for private schools. A burgeoning Jewish population has since caused funding for those private school services, which are mandated by the state, to skyrocket.
Currently, there are approximately 23,600 private school students in East Ramapo, compared to a public school population of fewer than 8,000 students. To pay for the state mandated services to private schools, the board was forced to reduce some nonessential services to public schools, such as art and dance classes, kindergarten, and physical education.
With Senator Flanagan ignoring the plight of abused children (of any religious affiliation) and refusing to endorse the CVA in favor of protecting his voting base. With Flanagan’s decision to vote against installing a monitor with veto power into the East Ramapo School District, MaryEllen Elia should get something of a hero’s welcome for her creative and rational approach to solving problems within the East Ramapo Central School District. She is focusing on the code violations.
While it is not everything we would like to see happen, which would include inserting a monitor with veto power, demanding “substantially similar” education with enforceable parameters that are not overlooked or ignored and denying non-complying schools State funding, it is certainly a start. We remain cautiously optimistic.
State Education Commissioner MaryEllen Elia has authorized Rockland to send fire inspectors into private schools to ensure conditions are safe for students, teachers and other personnel.
Plans to inspect dozens of schools will be announced today during a noon news conference by Assemblyman Kenneth Zebrowski, D-New City, and County Executive Ed Day. They will gather at the Rockland Fire Training Center.
Rockland officials have telegraphed their desire for a state order allowing massive inspections of schools. Zebrowski previously has said the state education commissioner has the authority to deputize inspectors in Rockland for the task.
Last month, Zebrowski and Day said during a news conference at the training center that the state was poised to take action to enforce fire and safety codes in Ramapo.
Both the Department of Education and the state Department of State’s Division of Building Standards and Codes have issued critical reports on fire and safety enforcement in Ramapo and Spring Valley. Both agencies have inspected buildings across the town as part of the reports.
legitimateeven now, as Napoleon understood. (Translated from Nietzsche’s “Meschliches, Allsumenschliches,” by George Schumm)
THE MODERN CONTEXT
In East Ramapo the children are suffering. The public school children are being deprived of basic necessities like pencils, erasers, books, enough classes to graduate. They are sitting under roofs, barely keeping them dry in buildings not keeping them warm during the winter. They come from a district once hailed as one of the best in the State, and are graduating high school grossly unprepared for college. A disproportionate number of public school children are of Hispanic and Black descent, from families whose parents want to give their children better than what they had, hopes and aspirations for their offspring’s futures.
The Yeshiva are taught in schools where secular subjects are not part of the curriculum, or only taught with the barest minimum requirements to satisfy the scrutiny of the outside world. That curriculum certainly does not meet the “substantially similar” requirement but little scrutiny, if any, is performed. Yeshiva children graduate school with little or no English fluency, functionally illiterate in this country’s national language. Their parents don’t want better for them. In the words of community members, “No Nobel Prize winners will be coming out of Yeshivas.” The parents and community leaders, with few exception, want insularity. The children cannot aspire to what they do not know. Families are virtually guarantee public assistance, welfare and food stamps which will likely pick up where education leaves off. Perhaps, instead of Nobel Prize winners, the children will be like Rabbi Twersky in New Square, revered for his unmatched wealth, official license plates, multiple homes and skewed interpretations of what it means to be a Jew. Neitzsche had it spot on.
The futures and any aspirations of both of these cohorts of children are being systematically quashed by the actions of Senators like Flanagan and Marcellino, both of whom have amoral justifications for why a monitor is unnecessary in East Ramapo, despite countless reports and recommendations to the contrary. They have their “sound bites” likely fed to them by the community they support, the ultra-Orthodox in places like New Square and Monsey, Kiryas Joel, Borough Park and Crown Heights. Perhaps the flock of birds with the Golden Crowns (from the story of Solomon) are whispering sweet nothings in their ears.
In an article entitled, “‘Opportunity Deferred’: 19 reforms for E. Ramapo“, from Lohud on December 14, 2015 describes the 19 recommendations from a panel headed by former New York City chancellor Dennis Walcott, which was reported to the Board of Regents. One of the findings within that report states,
“As a result of this confluence of factors, the tensions in East Ramapo have grown into a chasm, full of anger and mistrust, and the District’s students have continued to suffer the effects.”
Lohud describes the situation as follows,
“The school board is controlled by Orthodox Jews, who have been accused of directing resources to the private schools at the expense of the district’s 8,000 public-school students, who are mainly black and Hispanic.”
The idea that government will protect the education of these children, both Yeshiva and public school students, is a convenient deception. With politics determining the outcome and politicians, gaining support from the bloc, the result is a foregone conclusion. The children are doomed. Right and wrong, principles obvious to many of us, is as much these days a fallacy as the notion that local law enforcement and the criminal justice system will punish serial sex abusers within the ultra-Orthodox community. The misconception that the criminal justice system will at long last prosecute entrenched local Hasidic and ultra-Orthodox leaders for bribery and intimidation, and will bring the courageous children who speak out against sexual predators within those communities justice, is obvious to those of us who are not blind to the moral bankruptcy of our leaders. And it is disconcerting.
We are not delusional enough to believe that the leaders of the communities involved, Rabbi Twersky and his henchmen, Yossi Gestetner a “media consultant” for the ultra-Orthodox community, Legislators Aron Wieder, Ilan Schoenberger and Aidan Wolff Rockland County Legislators, Yehuda Weismandl, President of the East Ramapo school board, share in a collective consciousness. They may dress like pious Jews but have bastardized everything that makes Judaism beautiful.
These men, brethren in amorality, the Rabbis and political mafia, akin to street gangs have a well-organized and creatively written playbook for taking over governments and school systems. And, their plays are brilliantly executed.
In an article entitled, “East Ramapo board “surprised” by panel’s recommendations“, by Joseph Spector, published in Politics on the Hudson on December 14, 2015, ERCSD Board President Yehuda Weismandl is quoted as saying,
“We had begun to work together. We were building a consensus for action on underlying problems,” Weissmandl said in a statement.
“We are surprised because Mr. Walcott, who spent a great deal of time with us in recent weeks, spoke to these very issues and seemed intent on avoiding a repeat of the past.
“The final report to the Regents, however, went in a different direction.”
Weismandl, in the same article is quoted as saying:
“These proposals are likely to reprise the divisions and strife we saw in the district last year,” his statement continued. “This is indeed unfortunate because we had begun the process of reconciliation in East Ramapo.”
He added, “What we need in East Ramapo is a laser focus on the needs of children and reconciliation as a community and improved cooperation at all levels. As we always have, we will continue to work diligently toward these goals.”
There is no “strife” to reprise. There are no divisions of “reconciliations.” There is a concerted effort to take over a school district, in its entirety and effectually irradiate public schools for all of the children who are not Hasidic or ultra-Orthodox for all future generations. Lakewood, Monroe-Woodbury, Jackson Township, it’s all the same playbook, just a different political brothel. And, in this case, the panel’s decision put a wrench in it.
Flanagan had always been on the “short list” according to a Newsday article on May 16, 2015. Despite calling Dennis Walcott a “gentlemen in every sense of the word” is quoted in politico-speak as saying,
When we move in any way shape or form to usurp local control, we have to be extraordinarily judicious,” Flanagan said. “I’m not suggesting for a moment there aren’t extraordinarily acute issues on that district, because there are.”
Despite Senator Flanagan’s description of Walcott, on December 21, 2015 FailedMessiah posted an article commenting:
New York State Senate Majority Leader John Flanagan told the haredi umbrella group Agudath Israel of America last night that the state Board of Regents move to have a state fiscal and policy monitor with veto power installed in the scandal-plagued haredi-controlled East Ramapo Central School District has anti-Semitic overtones and his Republican caucus would not allow it to happen.
“We’re not doing it,” Flanagan told an Agudath Israel of America gathering, the hasidic Hamodia newspaper reported.
Agudath Israel, is the collective organization with the worst record for violence against children and efforts to silence those children. See Haredi Hall of Shame. Somehow in the minds of the collective, a man brutalizing a child, bending an innocent vulnerable child over a table, pulling down his pants and tearing into him is okay. It brokers silence and deserves no punishment.
Agudath Israel, like many other similar groups, is an organized crime syndicate. It has done more to destroy the lives of children, under the guise of religious “hesed” (piousness) than any other crime syndicate in existence, historically or present-day.
Flanagan’s comments on December 21, 2015 come after a commentary on the Walcott Report, and FailedMessiah’s as follows:
“As illuminated by the Monitors’ work since August 2015, as reported in Henry M. Greenberg’s November 2014 report to the Regents, as documented in the press, and as experienced and voiced by public school families, educators, and community members, the East Ramapo Board of Education has persistently failed to act in the best interests of public school students. Since August, there has been progress in the District, but after years of challenges, including fiscal distress and a failure of public confidence in the public education system in the District, much more time is needed for the District to overcome years of mismanagement and decline…”
Senator Flanagan, after years of toiling and ending up on the “short list” are your current actions any different than accusations levied against women who allegedly “shtooped (screwed) their way to the top.” You, however, have likely whored yourself out for votes, sold yourself to the collective Devil, men wearing Schtreimels to synagogue on Friday night and Saturday and then fortifying their playbook for the takeover of the secular community on Sunday.
What you may or may not realize, Senator Flanagan, is that one day you might get a knock on your door asking you to move from your home. You might find yourself unable to travel on Friday night and Saturday, the dictates of the Twersky empire of New Square. You are not exempt from the decimation of all this country holds dear, Life, Liberty and the pursuit of Happiness. It is simply a convenient deception that you will always be protected. Who knows? You might one day awaken to a bloody horse-head in your bed. The criminals to whom you give legitimacy are no different than Scorcese’s mafia crime family. They just dress differently.
In a Lohud article, dated March 10, 2016, entitled “East Ramapo: Senate Education chair knocks monitor plan”
Senator Carl Marcellino is quoted as saying the following inconceivable two statements:
“My inclination is to hopefully allow the district to resolve the issues on their own, without the state getting involved; without the state putting in a monitor,” he told Gannett’s Albany Bureau on Wednesday.
“I’m more pleased if we can work with the locals and get them to work together and get them to resolve the issues the way they should,” Marcellino continued. “That’s what school boards are elected to do.”
Senator Marellino, how many children must graduate schools without a remotely proper education? Certainly you are well aware that the ultra-Orthodox community leaders are thieves and liars. You’d be more likely to see jackals negotiating with their prey. And yes, the ultra-Orthodox leaders are the jackals in this political game where MONEY and STATE FUNDING OF PRIVATE EDUCATION are the prize. Children be damned.
Morever, Senator Marcellino, with your votes coming so cheap, why should Weismandl and his fellow Board of Education power brokers bother to negotiate? You have, by your statements, given them political clout. Paying a political whore makes raping, both literally and figuratively, an entire generation of children so easy. The jackals get their money, the children generation after generation get no future and you, Senator, get rich on the backs of these children, their futures made hopeless by you, and their lives without hope.
Men like Senators Flanagan and Marcellino are a convenient deception. For members of communities most in need of their help, they represent systematic destruction and abuse of power. For Agudath Israel, Rabbi Twersky and their ultra-Orthodox organized criminals, they are your gateway to power. Will the children ever find redemption?