Skip To Content
JEWISH. INDEPENDENT. NONPROFIT.
Breaking News

Orthodox School District Gets Funding Boost — but More Oversight From New York State

NEW YORK — New York’s state legislature approved a bill that would provide greater oversight of an Orthodox-controlled school district along with $3 million in aid.

The bill concerning the embattled and financially troubled East Ramapo School District in New York’s Rockland County, passed both houses of the legislature Thursday and will now go to Gov. Andrew Cuomo’s desk for signature, the Journal News reported.

Introduced earlier this week, the bill represents a compromise between lawmakers and activists who wanted stricter oversight, including state veto power over the district’s operations, and those who opposed the oversight. The bill does not give veto power, but it empowers the state education commissioner to keep a team of state monitors in the district and requires the school board to submit its entire budget to the commissioner, who has the authority to demand changes.

Two state reports in recent years have called for greater state intervention in the district, whose Orthodox-majority board has been accused of financial mismanagement and of diverting funds from public schools to area yeshivas.

According to the Journal News, only 25 percent of the district’s 32,000 students attend public schools; the majority of children are enrolled in Orthodox yeshivas. The public school students are predominantly black and Hispanic.

“This is a very positive outcome indeed. We will now be able to make a series of investments in academic programs and services. Our students will benefit greatly,” Yehuda Weissmandl, the school board president, said in a statement, according to the Journal News.

Related:

Buoyed by haredi growth, Jewish school enrollment in NY up by 4 percent in one year

4 NY yeshivas sued for failing to provide adequate secular education

In Rockland County, non-Orthodox try to create alternative to Hasidic dominance

Engage

Republish This Story

Please read before republishing

We’re happy to make this story available to republish for free, unless it originated with JTA, Haaretz or another publication (as indicated on the article) and as long as you follow our guidelines. You must credit the Forward, retain our pixel and preserve our canonical link in Google search.  See our full guidelines for more information, and this guide for detail about canonical URLs.

To republish, copy the HTML by clicking on the yellow button to the right; it includes our tracking pixel, all paragraph styles and hyperlinks, the author byline and credit to the Forward. It does not include images; to avoid copyright violations, you must add them manually, following our guidelines. Please email us at [email protected], subject line “republish,” with any questions or to let us know what stories you’re picking up.

We don't support Internet Explorer

Please use Chrome, Safari, Firefox, or Edge to view this site.