Legislators renew call for E. Ramapo monitor

This week's school board and budget votes in the East Ramapo School District did little to reconcile long-simmering turmoil between public and private school parents.

This week's school board and budget votes in the East Ramapo School District did little to reconcile long-simmering turmoil between public and private school parents. (5/21/15)

EAST RAMAPO - This week's school board and budget votes in the East Ramapo School District did little to reconcile long-simmering turmoil between public and private school parents.

The vast majority of residents, mostly Orthodox Jews, send their children to private religious schools. But the public school board is dominated by members of that community, and other parents in the area accuse the board of mismanagement. They say the school board benefits the private schools at the expense of public school programs.

In the recent school elections, candidates supported by the Orthodox community, including two incumbents, won all three open board seats.

State lawmakers representing the area say they still want to have a state-appointed overseer of the district's operations. They say a bill assigning the monitor will likely be approved in the state Assembly in the next few weeks.  But from there, it still needs action by the Senate before being sent to Gov. Andrew Cuomo.

Some lawmakers have been reluctant to back the bill because school board supporters claim it is anti-Semitic. However, the law has the backing of some local rabbis and several Jewish groups.

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