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Monday, October 16, 2006

More Anti-Yeshiva Community Bias from Newsday

I haven't posted on the topic in a little while, but the District 15 public/private school battles rage on.

One recent issue that's been particularly contentious is the claim by some private school parents that their children's bus service had been changed this year, creating a tremendous amount of inconvenience for many district students. In response to the outcry on the part of parents, some of whose children had been given absurdly early pickup times or unsafe bus stops, the school board set up a fact-finding meeting that was attended by many parents. After this meeting, the district's findings were that this was not a deliberate act aimed at "punishing" the private school community for sending the budget to contingency, but an error on the part of the district's transportation office that would be ironed out in due time. People on both sides were willing to accept that finding at face value, and the controversy seemed to die down. But not for long.

Apparently, the public school community didn't like the way the private school community made this into an issue, and decided they wanted their opportunity to do the same. So they did, and Newsday obliged in carrying their ridiculous claims. This piece is a perfect example of the classic biased reporting that we've come to expect from Newsday - and what an especially shoddy piece of reporting it is. It's clear that somoeone with strong anti-private school inclinations got their hands on this reporter and managed to sell her this story even though it has no beef in it. The quotes that make up the article's claims came from meetings that happened weeks ago. Which means that the only news that is being peddled in this pathetic excuse for a news item is a bunch of scurrilous allegations, cobbled together so as to have them resemble facts. Here goes:

First, the extremely inflammatory headline:
School bus plays favorites
Lawrence district violates policy by making door-to-door stops for students in private schools
Not "allegations that school bus plays favorites". Just "school bus plays favorites". As if that is borne out in the article. Which it isn't.

Then the story goes on to make some quite serious sounding allegations:
But in a revelation that has roiled the already divided district, it turns out that for years, in violation of district policy, some 300 stops were in front of homes of private school students and that some parents were bribing drivers with gifts and cash. All the while, most public school kids have had to walk to corner stops.

Why that happened isn't clear. Some public school parents said that for years they noticed that when they drove behind a bus, it made many stops on one street. But when they questioned school officials, they were told there were no special house stops.
But where's the proof of that allegation?

There is none in the article.

None. Absolutely not a shred.

Is there a bus driver who was interviewed by the reporter, who backs up these amorphous claims of bribery? No.

Does the superintentent of the district, who is quoted in the article, himself allege that bribing took place, or specify that he feels the private school community got preferential treatment? No.

So what is that all based on? The following quotes:
Renee Freedman of Lawrence said the bus stopped in front of her house for the past 21 years, which brought hisses and groans from the public school crowd. After the meeting, she explained that her stop also served about 10 other children on her block.

"It shouldn't be considered door-to-door pickup," she said. "It's a convenient stop for the kids who live in that area."

Now, the bus passes her house to get to a stop about two-tenths of a mile away, where fewer students live, she said. "To go to that corner doesn't make sense," she said.
Um, this is the door-to-door pickup that the reporter is claiming as fact? A stop that picks up ten children on one block, and happens to be in front of one of the children's houses? Well, according my fabulous math skillz, it would seem to me that 9 out of the 10 private school students who get picked up at that stop are not getting home stops. So this doesn't seem to be about preferential treatment in the past - just about one lucky student who happened to be in extremely close proximity to the stop.

The next quote that "proves" the vast conspiracy:
Private school parent Michelle Muehlgay of Cedarhurst, who complained of no longer having a bus stop in front of her home, said busing is a small privilege for the taxes she pays toward a school district she doesn't use.
Um, ok? So the stop was in front of her house and was now moved? Who says that the stop in front of her house wasn't the one given to her by the district transportation office? Did the reporter care to follow up? Did he check if this particular family lives on a corner, in which case, not stopping in front of their house would be silly? It's one thing to have a policy of not acommodating parents' requests for stop changes to in front of student's homes, but some stops simply start out that way due to convenience. I would be extremely incensed if I would find out the that school district was deliberately placing stops away from student's homes, whether in public or private school, just to keep to a "policy".

Now, what does the reporter bring as "proof" that the public school community is not getting similar treatment? More quotes:
Public school parent Andrew Levy, of Atlantic Beach, said he grew up in the area and never had a bus stop in front of his house. He added that perhaps busing would not be so controversial if the community as a whole were more supportive of the district's financial needs.
Well, if Andrew Levy says that he grew up in the area and never got a bus stop in front of his house, then there must be no public school students who ever got a stop in front of their house. Right? Isn't that the way logic works? Well, obviously not. The reporter from Newsday seems to be relying on the public school community's mad math skillz. Bad idea.

This two-bit reporter expects us to sit idly by and allow her to write an article that is pure drivel? An article that uses two examples of private school parents' experience vs. one example of public school parents' experience - and that is reporting??

Please, everyone, if you have a minute, dash off a letter to Newsday's editor. When people calling themselves reporters produce garbage like this that doesn't belong in print, there needs to be a public outcry. And I'm talking to people on both sides of the community divide. If there's a point to be made, then please, by all means, make it. But this article is nothing but a hit job with nothing but allegations that are never borne out by evidence. And I am hopping mad that this piece of biased drivel that doesn't even belong...well, on a blog, could find its way into a paper that fancies itself a real publication.

My readers should be equally incensed.

Previous posts on the subject:
September 2006: I, II, III
August 2006: I,
July 2006: I, II, III, IV, V,
June 2006: I, II, III, IV, V, VI, VII, VIII
May 2006: I, II, III, IV, V, VI, VII, VIII
April 2006: I, II, III, IV
March 2006: I, II
December 2005: I
November 2005: I
October 2005: I
August 2005: I
July 2005: I
June 2005: I, II
May 2005: I, II, III, IV, V

225 Comments:

Blogger Still Wonderin' said...

The fact that this non-story is being:

a) reported at all
b) presented in such a stark context of "orthodox conspiracy against public school students"

is an absolute travesty and clearly someone's attempt to roil the community and sustain the rancor between private and public school families.

..and the way it's being reported on WCBS 880 all morning is stomach churning.

10:16 AM  
Blogger orthomom said...


is an absolute travesty and clearly someone's attempt to roil the community and sustain the rancor between private and public school families.

..and the way it's being reported on WCBS 880 all morning is stomach churning.



I agree completely. It succeeded it making me see red, that's for sure.

10:17 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

this article is a hatchet job if i've ever seen one.

10:20 AM  
Blogger Still Wonderin' said...

...and by the way, the fact that the story is being presented in terms of the wealthy yeshiva family "haves" against the destitute public school family "have-nots" is absurd!

Is Newsday suggesting that they are incompetently ignorant about the socieconomic realities of Disctrict 15 or is it their selective igniorance to make the story juicier?

10:20 AM  
Blogger Krum as a bagel said...

This is one of the most badly written articles I have ever read in the a mainstream paper. Not much to add to OM's points, but it just out and out bizarre how an article describes "a revelation" of "300 stops" in front of private school homes but never cites to a study, report - something -that backs up this accusation, which leads me to believe that the "revelation" in this case was a dream wherein God came to Ms. Kelleher and showed her a map of Lawrence with 300 bus stop locations in front of private school houses. Which really is quite impressive.

11:02 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I was at that meeting and I am a public school parent. The Newsday did not report all that went on. Yes there were some whiney people who complained they had children at home and could not take them to a bus stop, but on a whole, I feel the meeting went well, and most people agreed on what the issues at hand were. Andrew Levy's whole comment was not printed. They left out the part were he said we all need to work together, I am tired of reading people complaining they pay taxes and all they get is a little busing. Well you know what I pay taxes and lately all I get is a headache!

11:16 AM  
Blogger YMedad said...

What happened to car-pools? Or is that just in the movies?

11:18 AM  
Blogger orthomom said...



I was at that meeting and I am a public school parent. The Newsday did not report all that went on.


I think that's the point here. Newsday wrote an incredibly shoddy and biased piece that was clearly aiming to do nothing more than stir an already simmering pot. It's really hard to believe that after a few weeks of relative and welcome peace, things have to be stirred up by a reporter obviously trolling for some noteworthy controversy.

11:19 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Apparently, the public school community didn't like the way the private school community made this into an issue,

This is not true. On a whole, the public school community supported the private school parents on this issue. As a matter of fact, most people at this meeting got along better than ever. Safety is our first concern for ALL our children!! We all feel the same. I find it sad that children are on the bus for 1 hour due to overcrowding. I find it even sadder Yuri Kaufman wants private pre-school to have busing, at a cost of $250,000, because the 30 children at public school that got busing. If I was a private school parent I would be at the board meeting at #4 to suggest maybe extra buses would be a better idea.

11:20 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

What happened to car-pools? Or is that just in the movies?

I do not know, I am a public school parent who drove there daughter to pre-k. I did not get busing. Lynbrook has no busing, and know problems, something to think about

11:22 AM  
Blogger orthomom said...

This is not true. On a whole, the public school community supported the private school parents on this issue.

Ok, so let me correct the statement to the following:

"Apparently, some members of the public school community didn't like the way the private school community made this into an issue,"

11:23 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Apparently, some members of the public school community didn't like the way the private school community made this into an issue,"

Actually no members of the public school community that were at that meeting said word one about most of the issues. In some cases P.S. parents were mortified at the way the busing was handled. There were a certain group who were upset about door to door service. In some cases yes, it is warranted. On a whole, I do not know anyone who was against this meeting. Perhaps this is coming from a Private school parent who wants to stir the pot, as thing are starting to go smoothly. Either way, we need to ignore these biased attacks on our community. We must show we are better than the trash they write.

11:27 AM  
Blogger Spirit_of_Lawrence said...

Ironically, the author also failed to mention that this year, the District was providing door-to-door service for all public school pre-schoolers while not offering that service to the private school pre-schoolers (5 yr olds). Of course, there still is the issue of not providing any bus service to the private school 4 yr olds while the public school 4 yr olds receive bus service.

I also found it interesting that rather than the writer interviewed one district official (the superintendent), but rather than making an effort to defuse the controversy concocted by the writer, it seems that he stoked the flames by conceding to the writer's inflamatory suggestions.

11:29 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

"I find it even sadder Yuri Kaufman wants private pre-school to have busing, at a cost of $250,000, because the 30 children at public school that got busing. If I was a private school parent I would be at the board meeting at #4 to suggest maybe extra buses would be a better idea."

Isn't it patently unfair that one group should receive pre-k busing and the other shouldn't?

11:32 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

4 yr olds while the public school 4 yr olds receive bus service.
Isn't it patently unfair that one group should receive pre-k busing and the other shouldn't

This extension of the pre-k was covered by a grant. It provided busing and free pre-k for an extra 27 students. The other students were getting busing as they were financially indigent and the state paid for it. I think the district should do away with the pre school busing all together if this is such a big deal. I would rather 27 children did not get busing as opposed to spending over $250,000 and congest the roads to send children to 96 different pre-k's (not only religous) at different times of the day. Private school Kindergarteners are getting door to door busing.

11:44 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Ironically, the author also failed to mention that this year, the District was providing door-to-door service for all public school pre-schoolers while not offering that service to the private school pre-schoolers (5 yr olds)

Funny enough, it was the Private School board members that were not in happy about door to door kindergarten bus for Private school students. Public school parents were all telling the board it was not fair. I have a five year old at Halb that gets door to door.

11:47 AM  
Blogger Spirit_of_Lawrence said...

I think that one of the points that are usually overlooked when these issues are discussed is that the public school parents and private school parents have different needs.

Many public school parents love to talk about the value of walking their kids 6 blocks to the bus stop, and love to reminisce about how they walked to school when they were kids, and love to suggest that the district should cut out busing altogether like some other districts have.

However, these comments and suggestions all indicate a complete lack of concern for the needs of private school parents (who are incidentally paying enough in property taxes for their minimal needs to be taken seriously).

By and large, private school parents have larger families, more children, and often send their children to two or more different schools. When a parent is juggling 5 school-age kids and a baby, it is a challenge to walk the kids to different bus stops at different times and to carpool younger kids to pre-school, while caring for the baby. That is the reality of many, if not most of the private school parents in District 15. And that is the reason that many yeshiva parents are frustrated with the way their busing needs have been treated.

Of course, a parent without several children in differnt schools and without the added challenges of getting everyone ready for school and off to school in the morning may reason that it's not their fault that some parents have lots of kids or send their kids to different schools, and that the district should not accomodate them. But reasoning like that is the reason we have had so much strife and distrust in the district. Whether or not these private school parents consider the importance of supporting the public education that the foot the bill for with their property taxes, they effectively support the needs of public school parents by living in the area and providing for the district. So when their unique family composition requires a level of bus service that is not otherwise the norm, it should not be viewed as unreasonable for these parents to expect the district to provide for those unique needs.

Without a foundation of serving each other's needs, this district cannot possibly unload all of its baggage from the past few years and restore academic excellency and community harmony.

Seeing how the new school board has not turned its back on any of the needs of the public school kids, nor does it seem to be favoring the needs of private school kids, it's clear that this district has the capacity to serve the unique needs of the community and much of the distrust is really baseless. But there must be a motivation on all sides to provide for everyone's needs - whether or not they are unique - in order for the district to continue in a positive direction.

11:52 AM  
Blogger FiveTownEyes said...

Hewlett-Woodmere doesn't provide busing to out of district schools. They give those a financial stipend or pay for public transportation to be used.

Maybe at this point Lawrence is considering this. It may not be right, but it is certainly legal.

When my daughter (in the Lawrence District) went to private school, we were too late to file for transportation. We had to carpool with three or four other families. It did not help that my 7 year old had to get up at 5:30 each morning to be able to eat breakfast and be ready for her ride. The next year, with school busing, it wasn't any better. She was exhausted and overwhelmed with her homework. We had to enroll her in local schools just to help her maintain a "normal life". In retrospect, we should have moved.

11:59 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

they effectively support the needs of public school parents

I first would like to say, If you would like to door to door busing, I find it to be okay. I just would not want my child on a bus that took two hours to get to school. That is my opinion. My mother had six kids, and we all had her at our bus stops, that being said, I would just like to comment on the Private school support of the public school. While I find it encouraging somone feels that way, It would be a lie for me to agree. A budget has not been passed in years. Fiscal responsibility is what was demanded, An audit was done by the state and found no wrong doing. The community failed the budget last year that was lower than the austerity budget. I find a 4% increase insulting. Look at all of Nassau County's budgets, they are raising at least 7%. Next we blame the teachers, those witches for wanting a cap on the classes, 21 instead of 25/26. Well guess what folks, we are in violation of the teachers contracts in every school. I guess we are a little jaded, because we feel our children deserve the right to be educated as well. When you look for a house you know what your taxes are going to be, and you know they are going to go up. If you send your children to public or private schools. If you don't want to pay high taxes for services you don't use then don't buy a house in an area where the taxes are so much.

12:01 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I find it silly that Orthomom automatically jumps to the conclusion that some "public school parent" "sold" this story to Newsday to stir the pot. In fact, the reporter attended the Public Hearing (as evidenced by the quotes from the meeting), did some research and interviews in the intervening month, and published her story on an otherwise slow news day. The story does make the Board look suspect, for its refusal to call for a stop to practices that allow house stops for private school kids - making us all pay public money and wait behind stopped busses mid-block for Junior to put on his coat, kiss the dog, and come outside to get on the bus to private school. This Board allowed 291 private school students to get publicly funded transportation even though their applications were late this year without even asking for an investigation or analysis when the figure was up from 53 last year. Yeah, that makes the Board look all too willing to spend public funds on private interests, and yeah, that is news. Similarly, the Board looks greedy and weak when its members whine about the 27 pre-k kids who are bussed because of a targetted State grant this Board accepted. Why must you conclude that someone "sold" this idea to Newsday? Isn't it possible that the Board's conduct, the public's outcry, and the State's investigation were enough?

12:31 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

ENOUGH!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

IT IS TIME FOR THIS COMMUNITY, A ONCE GREAT OASIS OF INCLUSIVENESS TO LOOK TO ITS ROOTS AND MAKE THIS WORK. AS AN PERSON WHO HAS BEEN IN THIS COMMUNITY SINCE 1969 I AM SHOCKED AND APPALLED BY THIS BACK AND FORTH, SHAME ON YOU ALL.

12:40 PM  
Anonymous lawrence resident said...

I am one of the parents who has 1 of her children's 3 bus stops (my children attend 3 different schools) at our house - as assigned by the transportation office. I also have another 2 children who live on the block (from different families) waiting at the house with my son. The corner closest to us is a busy intersection with the most accidents in the village (I may have given away who I am with this). If the bus were to stop there it would just increase the probability of another accident. The traffic lights are not synchronized (yes we've tried and had Jeff Toback come down but it doesn't matter because 2 different jurisdictions control the lights and they can't or won't work together) and people are speeding to make the lights and also to get to the nearby LIRR stop before the barriers comes down. It would be far more dangerous to have the children waiting at the corner than in front of my house. A bus stop does not have to be at the corner to be centralized. I already wrote in a previous thread about how my son's stop is almost 1/2 hour too early and halfway to school so he bikes.

I also wanted to comment on the last anon poster who is complaining about austerity. If the schools are operating on austerity and still generating surpluses, something is wrong. How can there be money left over? Also I am sure that it is not only the private school parents that are voting down the budgets, budgets are voted down all across the island and by a wider margin than the private school sector accounts for. I think the continuous surpluses and declining enrollment lead a lot of us to believe that there could be budget proposals that do not raise taxes, or at least keep the tax increases to a minumum.

12:43 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

still generating surpluses,


First off the bus stop in front of your house with three kids is not what people are complaining about. There are some people whose children live on a quite street whose buses pick them up in front of there house. I am not sure where on earth you are getting this surplus idea from. There is no surplus.

12:47 PM  
Blogger orthomom said...

I find it silly that Orthomom automatically jumps to the conclusion that some "public school parent" "sold" this story to Newsday to stir the pot. In fact, the reporter attended the Public Hearing (as evidenced by the quotes from the meeting), did some research and interviews in the intervening month, and published her story on an otherwise slow news day. The story does make the Board look suspect, for its refusal to call for a stop to practices that allow house stops for private school kids - making us all pay public money and wait behind stopped busses mid-block for Junior to put on his coat, kiss the dog, and come outside to get on the bus to private school.

Because as I stated in my post, none of theinformation you are alleging was in the article. Are we supposed to take the reporter on her say-so?? Or yours? Dr. Fitzsimons certainly didn't seem to have any information regarding the alleged disparity to provide. Your reasoning just is not sound.

The story was a terrible, terrible story.

Who says that there are more instances of private school parents getting door-to-door services than public school parents? Newsday? I don't see that allegation from Dr. Fitzsimon's quote, or any other information provided in the article.

As I said before, where's the beef? There is none. This story is just nasty allegation, backed up with ZERO in the way of facts.

And as for your talk about how "greedy" the board looks - the bottom line here seems to be EQUITY. Talk about alleged lack of equity in door-to-door pickups for some but not all, and the same stupid argument bites you in the back. If all of public school pre-K gets busing, (even those not covered by the grant), why shouldn't private school pre-K get busing?

12:48 PM  
Blogger orthomom said...




First off the bus stop in front of your house with three kids is not what people are complaining about


Tell that to Newsday. That precise type of example is the one Newsday gave as "proof" of the busing inequity.

Time to get the story straight.

12:50 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

"The reporter from Newsday seems to be relying on the public school community's mad math skillz. Bad idea."

Way to show true contempt for your neighbhors, Orthomom.

The District, and its Orthodox-majority school board, should be investigating whether anyone paid school bus drivers to make house stops, and should take a stand regardless of whether those house stops were for private or public school students. Of course, at the public hearing, only private school parents lamented the fact that they could no longer get stops in front of their houses. Oficial policy was, and is, everyone waits at the corner.

12:53 PM  
Blogger orthomom said...

Anonymous said...

"The reporter from Newsday seems to be relying on the public school community's mad math skillz. Bad idea."

Way to show true contempt for your neighbhors, Orthomom.


Fair enough, though the comment was extremely tongue-in-cheek. Apology extended.

The District, and its Orthodox-majority school board, should be investigating whether anyone paid school bus drivers to make house stops, and should take a stand regardless of whether those house stops were for private or public school students.

I agree, and hence this post. There is no indication of any sort of proof of any of this. Just hearsay. That's not worthy of an article.

Of course, at the public hearing, only private school parents lamented the fact that they could no longer get stops in front of their houses.

You mean the TWO private school parents quoted in the article - one of whom had a perfectly reasonable explanation for the bus stop being there, one that didn't entail any bribery or intrigue? Two quotes taken with ZERO context does not make a "situation".

Why do I think that someone pushed this story on the reporter? because she got her vague and unproven figures from somewhere, and because I have a familiarity with the journalism business. These types of skewed stories are almost always pitched to the reporter.

12:59 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

"Lawrence Resident"'s information re student population and surplusses is inaccurate. In fact, the public school population has held quite steady over the past decade. And, public school district is required by State Law to operate on a budget with built-in surplusses; on contingency, anything remaining over a certain percentage at the end of the fiscal year is returned to the taxpayers by way of lower taxes the following year. That is why the District voted a return to taxpayers of surplus funds over the summer. Think of it as a rainy day fund, and don't use it as a weapon to beat up our kids.

1:03 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Where are the writen district policies to show that all bus stops are at corners? The anon with the info of 291 house stops versus 53 last year, what is the source of your information? Is it publically availabl or did you did you get if from a BOE member or Dr. Fitzsimmons? Intersting to note that we have the same administration, same transportation staff, same bus company as last year, so why do we have all these problems this year? What happened to the consultant the BOE was going to hire after the special transportation meeting?

Poorly written article but we need to get the answers to our own questions so we can move on.

1:25 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

291 and 53 are numbers Dr. Fitzsimons cited during the public hearing and the board meeting the next night. All stops at the corner is in the District Calendar under "Transportation": "All eligible public/non-public students will be assigned a corner stop." Calendar, Page 2. A lot more than two people spoke about losing their home stops, answering Uri Kaufman's direct question "how is this different than in years past?" It is quite possible he or someone else called Newsday about the public hearing, hoping to prove a transportation "witch-hunt" against Yeshiva students but the story didn't turn out as anticipated. I agree, we need to fix this and move on, quickly.

1:36 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

"I am not sure where on earth you are getting this surplus idea from. There is no surplus."

There have been surpluses ranging from 4 to 7 million dollars in each of the past 3 years that the district was in contingency. This issue is not really debatable - the board and administration provide disclose these numbers in public session at the end of each school year. Some of the surplus funds get swept into various surplus accounts maintained by the district, and once those funds are filled to capacity - the execess is credited to the following year's budget.

There are plenty of ways to rationalize the district's significant surplus funds of each year in contingency (some legitimate - and some really poor explanations) but it's undeniable that the district has generated these millions of dollars in surplus funds each year that it has been in contingency.

1:39 PM  
Anonymous Lawrence resident said...

State required or not, the fact is that there is a surplus, there has been for years, and that seems to me the schools are managing well on the money alloted via austerity. I am not using it as a weapon, I am not beating up anyone, it is in my best interests to have good public schools where I live. However you slice it our per pupil expeditures are on the high end, our test scores are average at best (I read that our HS is on a state watch list), and I don't see how throwing more money at it will help. It seems that other districts do better with less money. The fact that we have money left over just leads me to believe that we can do it on less (or about the same) too.
I will admit to not knowing for certain about the enrollment and I apologize for my assumption.

1:52 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Why are we all b*tching about walking a block to a bus stop?

One of the middle school teachers was arrested for having loads of child pornography, and the superintendent says it's OK for him to come back to work?

Where is the anger about such neglect for the kids?

2:03 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

The story of the middle school teacher is rumor has it that he is going thru a nasty divorce and was set up by his ex, now if that is true who knows. Also, Dr F, has to let him back at work, innocent until proven guilty.

2:05 PM  
Blogger OrthoMomsBiggestFan said...

Agreed with anon 2:03 but even more important, Mom, why arent you blogging on some of the simchat torah events in our local Cedarhurst shuls and some of the crazieness that went on (i.e. public yelling, lewd behavior and drunkeness....) this is what the people really want to read about!

2:08 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Our high per pupil cost is so high, in large part, because of the unspoken cost associated with transporting and paying textbooks, school nurses, and technology fees for children to attend some 69 private schools including schools in Brooklyn, as we learned during that public hearing. Our Board needs to focus on reducing unnecessary transportation expenses now that the problem has been identified. And the Board's proposed solution to our embarrassing state test scores? Principals asked for restoring "homework centers" and "weekend academy" programs that were cut several years ago, but instead Dr. Sussman wants to use that money to hire another administrator.

2:08 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

The children that attend those 69 private schools also reside in the district and are entitled to be educated by the district. The transportation, school nurse, textbooks etc that are provided for them are at a fraction of what the cost would be if they had to actually enroll them. Further cuts in transportation (even legal ones)are likely only to enrage those taxpayers (read voters) even more, polarizing the community further. Is that really the road you want to take?

2:22 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

"Our high per pupil cost is so high, in large part, because of the unspoken cost associated with transporting and paying textbooks, school nurses, and technology fees for children to attend some 69 private schools including schools in Brooklyn, as we learned during that public hearing. Our Board needs to focus on reducing unnecessary transportation expenses now that the problem has been identified. And the Board's proposed solution to our embarrassing state test scores? Principals asked for restoring "homework centers" and "weekend academy" programs that were cut several years ago, but instead Dr. Sussman wants to use that money to hire another administrator."

HERE WE GO AGAIN!

The argument above went out of style together with ALPS - it has absolutely no credibility.

The private school population benefits from 8% - 10% of the district's budget. If the 4,500 private school kids attended public school, the district's budget would more than double. Does it really make sense to nitpick about the 8% - 10% when private school parents are effectively saving the district $100 million/yr?

2:46 PM  
Blogger Charlie Hall said...

'I did not get busing. '

No free buses here in New York City. But our taxes are a small fraction of what yours are.


'public yelling, lewd behavior and drunkeness...'

Nothing like that happened in Riverdale AFAIK. It helps that Rabbis Weiss and Willig both banned alcohol from their shuls.


'entitled to be educated by the district'

True, but only in public schools. And the New York State Constitution's Blaine Amendment categorically forbids support of religious schools. (An attempt was made in the 1960s to repeal it, but that attempt failed. Any old-timers remember why?)

2:48 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Correct that the educational entitlement is to public education. But my point is that the district can be forced to spend an additional $20,000 times 4500 (approx) students were they all to enroll in the public schools. It seems silly to argue about a small percentage of public money (that part that is constitutional).

As for free busses in NYC - they have up to 6th grade. And as I learned this year - they don't even have to register - just show up at a bus stop. The only (big) difference is that they don't bus out of district. But an Atlantic Express bus full of TAG students passes my house everyday on the way to school.

3:05 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

...because of agitating black activists (hey you pale face jew...) wrested control of the board of ed and did all they could for the next 35 years to stick it to the (jew) man.

3:13 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

And the New York State Constitution's Blaine Amendment categorically forbids support of religious schools.

I forgot about that. Under the amendment, we are currently in violation of state and federal law. Interesting.......

3:44 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Orthomom-
I actually was so incensed by the article that i called up Newsday and spoke to the writer. I brought it to her attention that it was my opinion that the article was unneccesarily onesided and inflamatory. To assume that only one group bribes and gets its way is asinine. In fact I told her that growing up here i was aware of a numer of public school parents that not obly bribed to get bus stops but to get their kids on the bus when they were not within the appropriate mileage from the school. More importantnly i indicated that the real issue isnt bribes or pitting sides but rather safety. There are too many little children that are forced to walk across busy streets to get to the bus or to their houses from their busstops. I dont blame the writer per se, i blame the editor. To allow such a weak glossed over article to be put in a newspaper is sad. That type of journalism doesnt even belong in a school JHS newspaper. Get the facts straight and then write. Again we see a paper pick its agenda and tehn formfit an article to suit it. It is sad to see when it impacts on our kids.

3:55 PM  
Anonymous HAGTBG said...

Yes the Blaine Amendment is still NY law but it is interpreted narrowly.

http://www.blaineamendments.org/states/states_files/NY.html

See in particular:

St. James Church v. Board of Education of the Cazenovia Central School District, 621 N.Y.S.2d 486 (1994) (The Supreme Court held that: (1) programs to which students were being transported were "educational" within statutory definition; (2) provision of education law allowing leasing of buses to other organizations did not violate state and federal constitutional requirement of separation of church and state; and (3) any refusal to lease buses to organization based solely on religious viewpoint of program offered would constitute discrimination).

4:18 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

BLAINE does not stop public school districts from providing religious neutral services, like text books, nursing, speech and special ed, and yes bussing. What it does limit is the ability for opublic school districst to fund religious activities.

4:27 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Blaine states that children are entitled under law to a free education under the public schools, and entitlement under anything else must be deemed nuetral, blaine also states the board must be neutral and not related to any religous institution. The supreme court narrowly voted on some cases with Blaine. I would assume that somone will get smart and if this blockbusting continues they will call the ACLU and get them to file a lawsuit under Blaine.

4:36 PM  
Anonymous HAGTBG said...

Anonymous 4:36,

First, Blaine says nothing about the Board. Certainly it does not require that Board members have children in public schools or that they do not adhere to certain religious beliefs.

I attached a link above to the text of Blaine as in NY.

Second, Blaine doesn't apply here.

The applicable provision of the NYS Constitution states "the legislature may provide for the transportation of children to and from any school or institution of learning."

Simply, the transportation issue is decided on grounds other than Blaine.

You allege establishment issues but provide no evidence.

5:10 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Blaine states transportation must be provided. Yes, but it does not say after hours two pick ups later. Blaine also states, textbooks shall be provided picked out by the school district, equal amount of spending made. I can guarantee you we are spending more on non public. Also, in board of education vs allen, the vote was 4-3, showing how it could be translated. The neutrality of the board is clearly stated in the original Blaine amendments. Sorry don't have the web site. The reason I am writing this is not to stir the pot, it is in response to those who feel because they pay taxes they are "entitled" to whatever busing rules they feel necessary. It is this type of attitude that will cause the problems.

5:30 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

This is not an issue of public versus private schools, let alone anti-Yeshiva bias as Orthomom claims. Its just a question of the possible misuse of public funds. No matter where a kid attends school, if the District rule is wait at the corner, bus drivers should not be accepting cash to alter the route. To the extent that our Board does not want to acknowledge that practice and denounce it, they've missed an opportunity to improve their credibility on fiscal issues.

And as for the Blaine Amendment, it protects the public from a democratically elected government body (like a school board) using its majority status as justification for diverting public funds to religion-based uses. But this bussing issue stands apart: the question is the Board's willingness to prohibit re-routing by gratuity, regardless of who is doing the tipping.

5:46 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I feel that people who tell others they shouldn't have moved into the neighborhood if they feel paying the taxes entitle them to certain priveleges, also cause problems in the neighborhood and show a certain amount of prejudice and antagonism. Understand that when many of us moved here there were many services including busing that were in place and slowly taken away over the years.

Additionally, there has been another issue that I would like to bring out. There are many licensed teachers in the religious community that have been locked out of jobs in this school board and the local schools. Many of the teachers who hold jobs in our school system come from outside this community. Don't you think that having community residents benefit from employment in the district, would also benefit the Public School system because they would understand more fully the needs of the children in the public school system? I personally have been living in the community for over 12 years and I know less than a handful of qualified teachers that were able to secure jobs within the district. Why is that?

6:02 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I don't know why your teacher friends did not get jobs, and sincerely doubt that the question of their qualifications, available positions, and whether or not they applied can be answered on an anonymous blog. What I do know is that our Board owes this community the duty to at least say "please don't tip the school bus drivers and ask them to change the routes for your kid" regardless of whether that practice was in place or not when you moved in. Wrong is wrong, dangerous is dangerous, wasteful is wasteful, even here in Lawrence. Even Uri Kaufman concedes this has nothing to do with religious persecution so stop trying to shoe-horn the issue into our discussion.

6:17 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I have heard first hand from several very qualified members of the Orthodox community who have applied for a variety of teaching and administrative positions with the district and have not gotten the time of day.

It seems like the system of hiring in the district is much more about who you know than about qualifications or where you live.

It's also somewhat disengenuous for the union and administration to constantly equate the need for salary increases with the high cost of living in SD15 when the majority of teachers and administrators don't live in the district. And although the cost of living has increased and continues to increase everywhere else as well, it is certainly not increasing at the same pace as that of SD15.

6:31 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I think you should leave this issue for another day or at least another blog. We're talking here about the District's use of public transportation funds, and about Newsday's coverage thereof.

6:35 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Well then do you think that the driver has the right to decide whether or not it is safer to stop in the middle of the block or at the corner, especially if someone lives in the middle of the block and the children can wait inside in the cold, rain and snow? Is the driver allowed to use his or her own common sense?

6:42 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

many services including busing

The only thing that was taken was pre-k busing, and up until last year it was taken away from all except indigent children.

As far as teachers being hired, We have not hired any "new teachers" in years. A psychologist was hired at # 6 last year that was religous. So I am not sure what and where this is coming from

7:20 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

high cost of living

I know this is hard to believe but other area in Nassau have high taxes, higher than ours. Oceanside residents pay up to 15,000, RVC residents pay on an average of 10,000. The majority of teachers live on the south shore. Merrick,Bellmore these areas have an average tax of 12,000. Most school districts have teachers that do not live in the area they teach in.

7:24 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

the 4,500 private school kids attended public school, the district's budget would more than double. Does it really make sense to nitpick about the 8% - 10% when private school parents are effectively saving the district $100 million/yr?

If all children went to the public schools, your taxes may go up a little but, you would not be paying $30,000 a year to private school. Public school parents would spend a little more, but all the programs that were cut, would be put back in. I don't know it is a no brainer to me. Spend 100,000 on your one childs elementry education or just pay your taxes.......

7:30 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Seeing how the new school board has not turned its back on any of the needs of the public school kids,

I appreciate your thoughts, but unfortunately like all of us we are not being given proper information.

1. The cap on class size is over and way over in some classes. This being said some children will continue to fail.

2. The constant threat of closing another school when the enrollment albeit down a little is not at the level where it would be considered safe, is becoming redundant.

3. Wanting to spend $300,000 so private pre k can be bused, equating it to paying for 25 children to be bused and not wanting to bring back extra help for homework and testing, sorry I don't see how there not hurting us.

7:34 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

The 27 pre-k kids who are receiving bussing are covered by a grant from the State that provided FREE pre-k this year due to our exemplary early childhood program. The current Board approved the State's grant and now they are taking abuse because Mr. Kaufman at least ran promising pre-k transportation for all. Rather than be happy this District secured a tuition-free universal pre-k grant from the State, this Board is being pressured to use the 27 kids on the bus as a reason to tear down the Universal Pre-K program they approved, and close Number 4 School. Who will taht benefit? Nice.

8:13 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

OK, you are entitled to get something for your taxes and you have a right to bring your issues to the table and so do we. We are not saying that you don't have a right to have your issues heard by the "newly" elected school board or that they shouldn't give it the necessary importance that it deserves.

By the same token our issues need to be heard and given the same importance that they deserve. Believe it or not we want your children to do well and succeed in school. We want all the children in this neighborhood to get the best education available and to reach their highest individual potentials. And we do mean ALL the children in this community. Anyone of them can and will be if they so choose, the future doctors, lawyers, pharmacists, etc. taking care of us here in the community

We believe that you should allow the new board the opportunity to hear the issues on both sides of the fence and address the needs of the ENTIRE community.

8:15 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

"

The 27 pre-k kids who are receiving bussing are covered by a grant from the State that provided FREE pre-k this year due to our exemplary early childhood program."

WRONG. Some are covered by the grant, the rest are bussed at district expense.

8:48 PM  
Blogger Charlie Hall said...

Actual text of New York's Blaine Amendment.

State Constitution, Article XI, Paragraph 3:

"Neither the state nor any subdivision thereof, shall use its property or credit or any public money, or authorize or permit either to be used, directly or indirectly, in aid or maintenance, other than for examination or inspection, of any school or institution of learning wholly or in part under the control or direction of any religious denomination, or in which any denominational tenet or doctrine is taught, but the legislature
may provide for the transportation of children to and from any school or institution of learning."

It is actually one of the more sweeping versions compared to those in other states. Note also that there is no *requirement* even for the provision of transportation; the state could decide to limit it to public school children if it so desired. That is the situation in Maryland, which doesn't even have a Blaine amendment.

I repeat: does anyone have any information on the unsuccessful attempt to repeal the Blaine Amendment back in the 1960s, and why it failed?

9:37 PM  
Blogger Goy Guy said...

Spirit_of_Lawrence said...

"I think that one of the points that are usually overlooked when these issues are discussed is that the public school parents and private school parents have different needs.

When a parent is juggling 5 school-age kids and a baby, it is a challenge to walk the kids to different bus stops at different times and to carpool younger kids to pre-school, while caring for the baby. That is the reality of many, if not most of the private school parents in District 15."

So what? It's the reality of many public school parents also. Everyone's got problems. The single mother. People that work nights. A sick kid or two. Gotta catch the train. Early tee time. Whatever.

Maybe the Board can appoint a panel of experts to hear sob stories from the parents to help set up the bus schedules. "Why don't we just send a cab for little Johnnie, Mrs. Smith? Won't that be a little easier?"

If people are bribing/tipping the drivers, this isn't the school boards fault, although it's their problem to solve. Besides, every bus stop is in front of someones house, isn't it? It just might not be yours. I personally think the Newsday article is just the usual "attack the Jews" story. Now if the story said that after a year long investigation, the District Attorney arrested 25 bus drivers for accepting bribes, and 150 parents for giving them, then THAT would be news. This story is just "man on the street" quotes from a couple of random people. Like when the news reporters can't get close enogh to get to the real story, so they interview the guys down the block at the pizza place.

11:31 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

"The 27 pre-k kids who are receiving bussing are covered by a grant from the State that provided FREE pre-k this year due to our exemplary early childhood program. The current Board approved the State's grant and now they are taking abuse because Mr. Kaufman at least ran promising pre-k transportation for all. Rather than be happy this District secured a tuition-free universal pre-k grant from the State, this Board is being pressured to use the 27 kids on the bus as a reason to tear down the Universal Pre-K program they approved, and close Number 4 School. Who will taht benefit? Nice."

POPPYCOCK!

The state grant doesn't even cover half the cost of educating these new pre-k kids. And I'll never forget the cogent argument by the head of the pre-k program - in a public meeting no less:

The district already has two extra teachers on staff who are not assigned to any classes, so adding the extra 1-2 pre-k classes using these two "spare" teachers won't cost the district anything.

YOU REALLY CAN'T MAKE THIS STUFF UP!-)

12:17 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Goy Guy said...

"When a parent is juggling 5 school-age kids and a baby, it is a challenge to walk the kids to different bus stops at different times and to carpool younger kids to pre-school, while caring for the baby. That is the reality of many, if not most of the private school parents in District 15."

So what? It's the reality of many public school parents also. Everyone's got problems. The single mother. People that work nights. A sick kid or two. Gotta catch the train. Early tee time. Whatever."


It seems like you may have missed the rest of my comment:

Of course, a parent without several children in differnt schools and without the added challenges of getting everyone ready for school and off to school in the morning may reason that it's not their fault that some parents have lots of kids or send their kids to different schools, and that the district should not accomodate them. But reasoning like that is the reason we have had so much strife and distrust in the district. Whether or not these private school parents consider the importance of supporting the public education that the foot the bill for with their property taxes, they effectively support the needs of public school parents by living in the area and providing for the district. So when their unique family composition requires a level of bus service that is not otherwise the norm, it should not be viewed as unreasonable for these parents to expect the district to provide for those unique needs.

Without a foundation of serving each other's needs, this district cannot possibly unload all of its baggage from the past few years and restore academic excellency and community harmony.


Or, are you suggesting that the Board should take the attitude that no one is entitled to any services beyond the stated mandated minimum, including football uniforms, gym repairs - they could probably save millions by doing away with all extra curricular activities.

Your sense of equity wouldn't bring harmony to this community in a million years. (Or, is it only the parent of 5 kids in 3 different yeshivas and a baby at home, that you don't think should receive some accomodation, but all other "fat" in the budget should remain?)

12:31 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

personally think the Newsday article is just the usual "attack the Jews" story

As a minority I am horrified every time I read comments like the above. Why is it attack the Jews. The truth of the matter is attack the people who are sending there children to private school. No where does it say jews. Why is it always the case. I truly could care less if you were muslim, by demanding fiscal responsibility, and then voting down the budget when it was less than austerity, is just plain blackmail. The truth of the matter is there will never be harmony. I am all for it, but when I read the above about 27 children in pre-k I want to vomit. For the record. Creative child had two teachers who were not paid through the district, they were let go. Two pre-k teachers were added. These two teachers were already teaching in the district, both were teaching kindergarten. When a new teacher is hired, the district must first ask teachers who were excessed, so before you write about teachers not doing anything get your facts straight.I agree busing should be equal, but if you are going to spend $350,000 on private pre-k busing, there should be no complaints when the public school gets the money for homework center, and Saturday acadamey. Let us not pick. Also while we are at it, no school should be closed. Public school parents are ready to go to the supreme court, to fight for reverse discrimination. My child is considered a minority and I feel my child is not getting the education they deserve. This school board is too busy giving in to the whiney, who have five children and don't want to walk to the corner or carpool, or complain they have to pay taxes and private school tuition. Give me a break, stop the whining. The article,private school, is covered under the constitution. Freedom, the freedom to choose where we live and were we send our children to school. This community is so interested in who is in charge, no one is interested in education, The district is responsible for the education of children in the district. The children who go to public school. Read state and federal laws, at the end of the day keep voting down the budget, and fighting every decision, the community as a whole is falling right where they want you. Blaine was written for a reason, The 3-4 vote was close enough that in an election year, when public schools are being railroaded by a community that send to a private school and the poor minority children are failing because those bad private school parents are complaining about door to door busing, and paying taxes and not getting anything in return,who do you think will win??? Come now most of this site is written by educated people. Thanks orthomom, you only help us with this blog.

2:10 AM  
Anonymous mycroft said...

repeat: does anyone have any information on the unsuccessful attempt to repeal the Blaine Amendment back in the 1960s, and why it failed?

My recollection there was a Constitutional Convention to produce a new NYS Constitution-the attempted repeal of the Blaine Amendment was the generally accepted reason for the failure of the "new" constitution to be ratified. Reason I believe is money-mostNew Yorkers do not want aid to private schools. Aid means their money.

5:59 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

"POPPYCOCK!

The state grant doesn't even cover half the cost of educating these new pre-k kids. And I'll never forget the cogent argument by the head of the pre-k program - in a public meeting no less:

The district already has two extra teachers on staff who are not assigned to any classes, so adding the extra 1-2 pre-k classes using these two "spare" teachers won't cost the district anything.

YOU REALLY CAN'T MAKE THIS STUFF UP!-) "


#4 is an amazing school. I have kids in both systems. You should be so lucky as to have your children being educated by the teachers at #4.

7:51 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

1-2 pre-k classes using these two "spare" teachers won't cost

YOU REALLY CAN'T MAKE THIS STUFF UP!-)

Sure you can and you did.


1. Call the #4 school and you will find out the following the one
teacher that was moved over to teach pre-k was Mrs. Franklin. Last year she taught Kindergarten. Nice try, spreading rumors, try something else,

2. The bottem line, pre-k is costing very little. Don't use it as an excuse to complain about taxes,busing,or anything else.
I did not agree with the Newsday article, but what do you expect. The public schools are protected under the Blaine amendment, and when a group of people who send there children to a religous institution is quoted in the paper saying we are the majority, we are the majority, did you expect the world to embrace you? I love living in the five towns, have no problems with my neighbors, and personally do not care if people get door to door busing, if people want there kids on a bus for 2 hours, it is not for me to judge. In saying that I also will say that when a board member compares paying for busing for 27 children which were merged onto Kindergarten buses with teachers already in the Kindergarten Center,
wants to spend $300,000 on busing while playgrounds and building fall apart, when a board vows to keep class sizes smaller and great amount of classes are over the cap. The Newsday article chose the comments that they wanted to print. All the comments used were true. For those of us attending that meeting, I do not remember any public parent standing up and complaing about walking, one or two complained about safety. I noticed no parent on this site has written about Meadowmere High School student not getting busing to the High School students, and they must walk all the way down Rockaway tpke and cross without a guard to get to school. So forgive me for being jaded and one sided that is a true danger.

The public school children are in the minority, as the community as a whole keeps telling the Newsday, and any other paper that will listen, unfortunately, I think this community is reading what the outside world thinks, not because anyone is Jewish,Catholic,Muslim, etc. but because this community as a whole is heard complaining about having to walk to the corner, while the district spends another year on austerity. Be careful what you wish for, it might come true.

8:40 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

orthomom,

reread the article, it does not agree or disagree with any point any side makes, it just quotes people and talks about the divided district. The reason why they only quoted Mr. Levy is because he is one of five public school parents that spoke. I am surprised the Newsday did not mention the Meadowmere High school children walking, on a whole, it just points out what people think which is still protected under Freedom. I am sorry the community did not like what was written, but being at that meeting, it only wrote what was said, no defense or investigation just the truth, sometimes the truth doesn't look so goog in print.

8:49 AM  
Blogger orthomom said...

reread the article, it does not agree or disagree with any point any side makes, it just quotes people and talks about the divided district

Of course it does. How about YOU read the article. It doesn't even take a very close reading - the headline is enough to get the gist. There are allegations made as fact without any indication of whether they have been proven (they haven't).

Hey, I also wish the Meadowmere students had been mentioned - that would at least have been an actual fact, as opposed to the non-facts that permeated the article.

It was one of the shoddiest examples of reporting I've seen in a while. And Newsday should be ashamed of themselves and their (lack of) journalistic integrity.

8:53 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Private school parent Michelle Muehlgay of Cedarhurst, who complained of no longer having a bus stop in front of her home, said busing is a small privilege for the taxes she pays toward a school district she doesn't use.

"I pay over $10,000 in taxes," she said, "and all I get is a little busing."

It was one of the shoddiest examples of reporting I've seen in a while.


Orthomom,
I think the article was okay, if you reread it said public school parents accuse 300 children get door to door, it did not say the district, all accusation are being made by the public school community. I also think that the quote made about getting a little busing is how most people think. Unfortunately this women got up in public and said this. I was at the transportation meeting and on a whole most people had valid complaints. I personally do not care either way, just don't expect the outside world to understand or care about having five kids paying taxes or spending money on private school. I have to tell you, I do not think this is a conspiracy against the orthodox. Like the other minorities in the world who speak out, expect to take some hits, especially when certain members of the community talk about it being a mitzvah to vote down a budget, or we are the majority, and we will spend properly. I am not saying it is wrong or right, but remember on a whole Long Islanders send there children to public school, the articles accusation fall on the public school parents, not on anyone else. In print it angers, but this is what was said, and the truth sometimes hurts. It is nice to agree to disagree......

9:10 AM  
Blogger orthomom said...

,
I think the article was okay, if you reread it said public school parents accuse 300 children get door to door, it did not say the district, all accusation are being made by the public school community.


I think YOU need to reread again. It says that the figure of 300 children is a "revelation" that was made. Not that it was an allegation. Nor does it say the public school parents made that allegation, as you are claiming.

In print it angers, but this is what was said, and the truth sometimes hurts. It is nice to agree to disagree......

I have no problem with an article that prionts both viewpoints. That is emphatically NOT what is written in the Newsday article. The Newsday article takes an explosive and divisive allegation by some members of the public school community, and erroneously and irresponsibly prints them as fact.

I will repeat: The article is garbage.

9:20 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

will repeat: The article is garbage

Okay, I concur,,,,,

9:50 AM  
Blogger orthomom said...

Anonymous said...

will repeat: The article is garbage

Okay, I concur,,,,,


Listen, I'm not looking for absolute agreement here on my blog. I never do, and always welcome other diverse opinions. However, this article is objectively poorly written and relies on unsourced allegation for its facts. I am just stating an objectiva fact as to the article's shoddiness.

9:56 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

"When a new teacher is hired, the district must first ask teachers who were excessed, so before you write about teachers not doing anything get your facts straight."

Can someone explain to me what it measns that a teacher is "excessed"?

10:06 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

In response to ...
Anonymous said...

"I feel that people who tell others ...... Understand that when many of us moved here there were many services including busing that were in place and slowly taken away over the years."

The things that were slowly taken away are the result of years of failed budgets. Many programs have been cut ...
This is what happens when a community as a whole does not support its schools by passing a budget.

11:14 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Can someone explain to me what it measns that a teacher is "excessed"?

It means as enrollment declines, a teacher who had the least seniority was let go to lack of need.


Orthomom,
How are you on the district spending $250,000 to bus all pre-k children. Is it equal to the 19 children(verified) that have been added under the grant. The teacher who is teaching that class was a K teacher last year who was moved down to teach pre-k, so no extra teacher was hired, the 19 children were added onto K buses, (no matron) and the others were put on small buses with some special education students

11:15 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Private school parent Michelle Muehlgay of Cedarhurst, who complained of no longer having a bus stop in front of her home, said busing is a small privilege for the taxes she pays toward a school district she doesn't use.


As a mother of four private school kids who wait dutifully on our assigned corner, I was embarrassed by Mrs. Muelghay's narrow-minded and insensitive remarks, and I know many other private school parents who feel the same way.

Believe it or not, there are plenty of Orthodox working mothers with several children in different schools with different bus stops and different pick-up times who manage to juggle our hectic lives without whining or looking for pity, just like most public school parents.

That said, it is also a fact that some public school parents occasionally attempt to skirt the rules to get better services for their kids: Every morning, a car pulls up in front of my house and a mother waits with her public school, junior-high age daughter who gets on the bus along with several other public school kids who get picked up at my next door neighbor's house (not a corner, by the way). When I asked my neighbor why this child needed to drive to her stop each morning, she answered that the child lives out of the district, but that they'd given a local address (presumably mine) so that they could get their child into the school they wanted. Apparently, this is a fairly common practice. No big crime in my opinion, but certainly juicy enough to include in any balanced article on the issues. Pity the Newsday "journalist" didn't dig a little deeper into both sides of the issues - she would have come up with a far more interesting and truthful piece.

11:50 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Can someone explain to me what it measns that a teacher is "excessed"?

It means as enrollment declines, a teacher who had the least seniority was let go to lack of need.


Orthomom,
How are you on the district spending $250,000 to bus all pre-k children. Is it equal to the 19 children(verified) that have been added under the grant. The teacher who is teaching that class was a K teacher last year who was moved down to teach pre-k, so no extra teacher was hired


This is a classic example of the fuzzy logic that the administration thrives on. If she was a K teacher last year and there was no longer a need for her there, then her salary and benefits are an extra cost that the district is now incurring. And last I checked, 4 out of 5 of our pre-k teachers were making over $100k + benefits.

12:18 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

"When I asked my neighbor why this child needed to drive to her stop each morning, she answered that the child lives out of the district, but that they'd given a local address (presumably mine) so that they could get their child into the school they wanted. Apparently, this is a fairly common practice. No big crime in my opinion, but certainly juicy enough to include in any balanced article on the issues."

Duh, here's another reason why our kids' services are being cut and we're left squabbling over the level of service everyone is entitled to. BECAUSE THERE ARE SIGNIFICANT NUMBER OF KIDS FROM OUTSIDE THE DISTRICT WHO ARE LEECHING OFF THE SYSTEM. If there is a child who does not live in the district, and is using your address to steal from the district, IT'S YOUR RESPONSIBILITY TO LET THE ADMINISTRATION KNOW and it's your fault that the district is short on funds to provide the necessary services for kids who do live in the district. At $25k per student, these abuses of our district's services are bleeding the system and forcing the district to compromise on the services that they should be providing to our kids.

12:24 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

BECAUSE THERE ARE SIGNIFICANT NUMBER OF KIDS FROM OUTSIDE THE DISTRICT WHO ARE LEECHING OFF THE SYSTEM.

With all the complaints it would seem almost backwards that this would take place. It would seem more logical that Dist 15 students would go to "better" districts.

1:06 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

It's no secret that our district is far better than the schools in Far Rockaway. Our district also has a reputation for a far better sports program that any of the nearby city schools.

But it seems that the district has never been that focused on stemming these abuses.

1:23 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

4 out of 5 of our pre-k teachers were making over $100k + benefits.

Well it's nice to know you know that when noone else does. I am going to say this point blank. It is the districts responsibility to educate the children who attend public school, Blaine. It is the districts responsibility to provided busing and textbooks picked out by the district. Write what you want say what you want, keep complaining, until congress ratifies the Blaine Amendment all of this is just typing. I do not care who is the majority of this community, who gets voted in, at the end of the day it is the law. No where does it say stick it to the yeshievas, because the actual law was anti-catholic. People can go on and on, no matter what you pay in taxes, you still are going to be entitled to above. Take it to court, although since Board of Education vs Allen won 4-3 in appeals court, who knows how they feel in Albany. They might just take away the transportation as well.

2:11 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

At least this topic knocked the chicken story of the headlines.

2:40 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Maybe we should give kosher chickens rides on the buses so everyone will be happy.

3:33 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Public school kids get picked up from both ends of my block.

3:59 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

How is it possible in a district which has been fraught by years of contingency and where penny-pinching is the focus of the board and administration, that these cases non-resident students seem to be overlooked?

4:06 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

DID you hear about the scandal to break of Eisen and the schikzer.

5:15 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

DID you hear about the scandal to break of Eisen and the schikzer.

What does this have to do with dist 15???

6:12 PM  
Blogger Rik Martin said...

I have read your post and tend to lean towards your opinion also, however, there are lots of conflicting opinions online. Do you have any evidence to back this up?Thanks,RD Martinwebmasterthe safety of colon cleansing

6:34 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Go to the OU web site for a lecture that RYE took part in about the job of the VAAD vis a vis the on site mashgiach. His point is that the on site mashigach must have someone in the home offoce to talk to. (Apparently on sukkos he viokated his nown rules).

8:24 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Further on RYE lecture. He says the rule is that the VAAD should not always win, but should do "truthful" work.

9:27 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

RYE also said that a VAAD can not pay the mashgaich directly because it would cost to much to pay payroll taxes and benefits.

10:09 PM  
Anonymous Seculardad said...

All right, enough of this bullshit. I think we can all agree for some reason the busing service sucks this year. Why do I say this, because yesterday was the 5th time this year I was late for work because my son's bus did not come and I had to take him to the Middle School.

11:40 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I think we can all agree that was the most rockin school board meeting in the history of this district

12:11 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I think we can also agree that this forum is not about the VAAD or RYE. Don't bring that discussion over into this arena.

1:17 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

"Rockin" is a good description of the school board meeting. The Newsday reporter was in attendance again so if a story about it appears in a few days, please don't go accusing "public school parents" of "leaking" the story.

1:29 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Let's get to the heart of the problems in Lawrence-Dr. Fitsimmons! He's NEVER gotten a budget passed in his tenure in Lawrence! The student performance has gone down during his reign! Transportation has become a major issue under his direction this year! So what has he done for Lawrence? He's made a once proud and great district the laughing stock of LI education. The buck stops at the top. He should join the ranks of the William Floyd Superintendent and resign. He's been a failure in his reponsibilities to our children and the entire community. Unfortunately, he probably won't do this as the prior BOE gave a nice juicy extended contract before the new BOE took over!

6:57 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Anonymous said...
I think we can also agree that this forum is not about the VAAD or RYE. Don't bring that discussion over into this arena.


Sorry. Reposted in the chicken area

8:45 AM  
Blogger OrthoMomsBiggestFan said...

What happened at the school board meeting last night - DO TELL!!

10:23 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

What happened? Orthomom didn't post on this? Pam Greenbaum resigned from the facilities needs committee because Murray Forman refused to meet with her since early September to issue a report, and then it came out that certain Trustees were developing a plan, without that facility needs data, to close certain schools - including #6, the only new-ish one and the only one with fields! Dr. Fitzsimons did not deny it. Best Forman could say was he's been too busy to meet with Pam and that there's no secret committee, its just the facts that compel the result. There was yelling. Uri Kaufman looked confused. Dr. Mansdorf was dismayed.

5:14 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Anon 12:11 ... is this sport to you ?

Kaufman wasn't confused, he was his usual self ... disdainful and contemptuous of the public school parents.

Asher was dismayed, alright. I would be too if I was President of that board. He's a good person and I bet he's sorry he ever took this on.

I'll tell you what, though. Some of those trustees got caught with their pants down. There were absolutely statements from a couple of board members (in front of several witnesses) that #6 WILL be closed along with "another building yet to be determined but probably #4)

To sit there and lie like that in public, on tape ... well, this board is digging themselves a ginormous hole.

I hope Murry Forman's fingernails are now clean, since he spent just about every minute of that meeting cleaning himself. I was praying that he didn't need any other body parts cleaned. Disgusting.

7:03 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Anyone ever notice how disgusting most public school parents act at school board meetings? The offensive comments above are unfortunately no surprise considering where they come from. What a fine example you set for your children with your jeering, insults and never-ending snyde remarks.

It's no wonder so many kids are failing in our public schools. Look at the role models that they come home to. Maybe it's time for the district to focus on parenting skills instead of clamping down on the kids.

9:40 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

There you go, bait the "public school parents" some more. You see how well that worked out for Uri Kaufman.

9:54 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

"There you go, bait the "public school parents" some more. You see how well that worked out for Uri Kaufman."

Did you miss the comments above at 5:14 and 7:03. The raucus interaction between the board members was a sad sight by any standard, but the only baiting at the meeting came from public school parents in the audience and the offensive comments above obviously come from the same place. So there's no question who's doing the baiting here - the only question is how much of the blame for failure such be attributed to the district and how much such be attributed to the parents whose behavior could not be much better at home than it is in public.

10:08 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

It's no wonder so many kids are failing in our public schools

Considering from what I was told the only people that were at the meeting were public school parents It never ceases to amaze me how all these comments about public school parents behavior, when not one person was there to "verify". As far as any parents behavior at home, I really am not going to go there, this is an attack of character, and since my parents raised me to have one, I won't answer. Now if you want to know why the children are failing at the public schools, I would say,
1. Crowded classrooms(district is in violation of the student cap)
2. Math help for three schools left up to one teacher.

I need not go on. While most of this district has been complaining about busing, which personally if people want door to door, be my guest, but don't complain when your kids are on the bus for 2 hours.
Also I was not at the meeting, but from what I understood, actual money spent per pupil, on teaching and expenses without busing, is $14,670.00 the balance of the monies is due to busing, and some other charges, if you don't believe me ask any board member.

As far as the districts children,public school children, to (I phrase it that way, because by the blaine amendment) that is who this district is responsible, no matter how many times you vote down a budget the law is on our side.) you see it would be illegal to discuss religous schools under the law. From what I heard at the last meeting, private school scores, were far worse, to the point the board called the state to get scores, and they are more horrified. Perhaps, all the antisemitism against public school parents, has taken up so much of your time, you need to look in your own house.\

Keep failing our budgets,, Keep the comments in the newsday, the only thing that 5% of your population is doing, is paving the way for a federal lawsuit... Thank You..... Who knows, board of ed v allen only won 4-3, maybe if we tried real hard, we can get that overturned, walking to the corner won't be such a hardship, when they take it all,,,,,,,

10:45 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

baiting at the meeting came from public school parents in the audience

Now, that is not true, the board was fightin within eachother so much, public school parents did not have a chance to say a word. Most of what was spoken about was school consolidation. Which is not going to happen next year, trust me. No school (#6) will be sold to a yeshieva, trust me when I say this will not happen, the schools will eventually need to be consolidated again, but that will not be happening for many years to come. Oh Well......

10:48 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Like a bunch of animals - it's the same behavior we see at every school board meeting.

11:27 PM  
Blogger Spirit_of_Lawrence said...

"Most of what was spoken about was school consolidation. Which is not going to happen next year, trust me. No school (#6) will be sold to a yeshieva, trust me when I say this will not happen, the schools will eventually need to be consolidated again, but that will not be happening for many years to come."

While I'm not in the position to decide which way the majority of the board will be swayed and when, it is clear that the board and administration are exploring this possibilty, and the superintendent has been talking about this since about one year ago. So what kind of influence could you possibly have to override a democratically elected board?

11:33 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Like a bunch of animals - it's the same behavior we see at every school board meeting.

I find it amusing to read this sight to hear all these opinions on behavior, like the kkk all of you write your opinions about what goes on, but shock, none of the yeshieva community is there. You see there is such a thing as seperation of church and state, and as long as this continues which I am sure it will the so called "majority" is setting themselves up for a major fall. The complaints on this sight are just a back up to everything the laws of public education was set up to prevent. One more budget failure and the state has said they will step in, books,transportation,special ed, no matter what you pay, that is all you get and will ever get, and please don't threaten us with raised taxes if you come to public school, because you know what, we don't care. So continue this little yeshieva power scheme, why do you think the district but a budget less than austerity, to set you all up. Why do you think they are filming the meetings. Please,,,do me a favor spare me the animal behavior speech, when yeshieva buses have little boys spitting out the windows, screaming I think maybe you concern yourself with your childrens behavior.

11:36 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

So what kind of influence could you possibly have to override a democratically elected board?

First there is no influence besides the law. When a board has a majority where they do not have children in a public school, and architects have said it is not possible to fit more children in any of the elementry schools, do you really think it is going to be difficult to have the courts file an injunction?? There is no way, it is going to happen, this district and board are already in violation of many things, don't you think it is odd that children are bused to crown heights when it is over the busing mileage limit.

11:40 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Why exactly do you care so much if a public school building is sold to a Yeshiva? Is that going to make your skin crawl and keep you from sleeping at night? Children need a place to learn whether they are in public or private schools and if there is a building that is available why does it bother you if a Yeshiva takes it over? That shows a lot of bias and negativity on your part. The school board will gain the $$$$$$$$$$ no matter who buys it.

Why don't you force people from moving and selling their homes to othodox young people who are buying property here and adding more children to the private school community? Better yet why don't you stop citizens from aging out of the public school system and no longer needing the buildings? Have you noticed how many older residents live in this community that don't have school age children anymore?

Give it a break already. Yes of course you are going to need to consolidate and the balance of children going to private vs public schools in this area is increasing due to the change in the demography in this area. Just as you can't keep older people from moving and selling their homes, you can't keep that from happening.

So your hatred is now out in the open, you will fight tooth and nail to keep a school building from changing hands from the public school system into the private school system. That is out and out bigotry, racism and plain viciousness in my book. A building that is already built and ready to house a learning environment, should be sold to anyone but a Yeshiva.

Nice going neighbor!!

11:48 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

"Most of what was spoken about was school consolidation. Which is not going to happen next year, trust me. No school (#6) will be sold to a yeshieva, trust me when I say this will not happen, the schools will eventually need to be consolidated again, but that will not be happening for many years to come."

While I'm not in the position to decide which way the majority of the board will be swayed and when, it is clear that the board and administration are exploring this possibilty, and the superintendent has been talking about this since about one year ago. So what kind of influence could you possibly have to override a democratically elected board?

11:55 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

"One more budget failure and the state has said they will step in"

Without taking either position on the budget, statements like this are incredibly stupid. Exactly who from "the state" said they're going to "step in" and take over the district? This silly idea has been bounced around every year before the May elections, but for better or for worse, the state has never taken any such position and they're certainly not going to do so because it is talked about within the district by individuals who disapprove of the elected board.

"architects have said it is not possible to fit more children in any of the elementry schools"

Weren't there twice as many students in the district schools (or close to that) some time ago? You do the math - How can you reason that "it is not possible to fit more children in any of the elementary schools"? Is there some requirement for more space per student than there was years ago?

12:43 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Less students now and we have poorer performance in our schools.
More students in the past and we were a premier school district with outstanding results.

The prior BOE put in caps on class sizes to ensure more teaching positions. Greenbaum and Clements were allies who supported each others self centered agendas. The curent we versus them is accomplishing absolutely nothing.

We need to bring our students back to the levels they once acheived when my children went to Lawrence.
All else is irrevelent. We as a community are reponsible for providing a sound education for all our children. We should concentrate our efforts in achieving that goal. Changing demographics should not be an excuse for poor performance. Children can and will learn when parents, teachers, BOE's and administrators work toward a common goal.

7:11 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

if the above comment is sincere then I have to say that is one of the most intelligent comments made to date on this issue...

10:38 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Less students now - but the makeup of the students is totally different. The public school student population has changed dramatically over the past years, or am I the only one who has noticed? You have virtually no public school students from the Lawrence and Woodmere neighborhood. North Woodmere and Cedarhurst has half its population going to private schools. The only population that hasnt changed that much from sending its kids to public schools is Inwood and Atlantic Beach.

12:00 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

What difference does it make where the kids are coming from. The point is the Lawrence School district is responsible for keeding up its level of education and they can't give up no matter where their students are coming from. If their students require more effort on their part to motivate them to excellence so be it, put the extra effort in. There has to be a checks and balance system in place. Why aren't the kids perfoming to their best potential. Don't blame the community they are coming from, don't blame the class size, don't blame the building, don't blame the budget, YOU REALLY DON'T HAVE ANY ANSWERS, you are just going by rumors and heresay.

Why don't we give this board an opportunity to investigate and see where changes are necessary and what actions can be put in place to raise the quality of education make the Lawrecne school district #1 again.

12:08 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

There's not substantially fewer students in the public schools: only four hundred fewer than a decade ago, in fact. During that time, the District closed Number 1 school (capacity 500 students), then cut math and reading specialists, ended after-school homework centers and stopped the weekend academy test prep program. This District is simply reaping what it has sown.

1:51 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Maybe after-school homework centers should be available to the entire community. And maybe weekend academy test prep program should be made available on Sundays rather than Saturdays so that everyone in the community could benefit. Maybe that would be fair to the entire community, more peoople would be able to take advantage of the programs and more people would vote it back in.

2:02 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

"There's not substantially fewer students in the public schools: only four hundred fewer than a decade ago, in fact."

That's ridiculous. According to official numbers released by the district in 2005, the student enrollment declined from 3,804 in '02-'03 to 3,451 in '05-'06. Obviously, it declined by far more than 400 in the past 10 years.

Regardless, the question is not how much it declined since 1996, but what the student enrollment was in the '70s when the public school enrollment was not declining.

Why don't we stop making up information and trying to build a argument based on a ruse, so this discussion can be somewhat productive.

2:18 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

If you really want to know the extent of house stops and routes that are way too long, why not install GPS on all buses? That way you track each bus, you know exactly how long each route takes, and you know exactly where each bus is stopping and how long it stops for. You know exactly what each bus is doing and whether its doing what it is supposed to do. This would completely eliminate the "he said she said", because you have an exact record of what each bus does every day. No more disputing how many house stops there really are or how long the routes are or safe vs unsafe stop locations. Isn't the safety of our children paramount? This technology can't be that expensive and would probably pay for itself in a year or two just in saving wasted time alone. I think Great Neck is installing this on their buses. Shouldn't we look into this for our buses?

3:26 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

You've gotta be kidding. The transportation office can't handle half of what their assigned to be doing now and they've already bungled most of the routes this year - Do you really think it makes sense to give them additional work?

3:38 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

The population was much higher way back when in the 60s, but it declined and School Number 3 was closed so long ago no one remembers. Public School attendance declined about 400 students since 1996-97. And Number One School was closed in 2003 or 04. Number Three's now a Yeshiva, and Number One's unsellable and in limbo due to the water moratorium still.

3:40 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

What was the public school population in the 60s and 70s?

And how could it have declined by only 400 since 1996, if it declined by 400 since 2003? Was the enrollment steady at 3,800 from '96 to '03?

3:45 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

"Number One's unsellable and in limbo due to the water moratorium still."

OH PLeeeeeeeeeeeeease!! It might be unsellabe as condo's becase of the water and sewer situation, but it certainly is not unsellabe as another school which it is zoned for and previously housed. And once again there was plenty interest in having it bought by private schools. So once again lets get the facts straight. Just because a developer cannot make a mint on this property does not mean it is an unsellable unusable property.

It is the perfect place to house another educational institution.

4:06 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

The district peaked at over 6,000 students in its prime. It was close to 4,000 public school students 10 years ago and is in a good decline (about 3-4% down per year). Meanwhile nonpublic enrollment goes up 8-10% per year.

4:28 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

The district's decline in students doesn't comment on the disctrict's ability to educate students. It simply demonstrates the change in the demographics of the community. As such changes naturally occur and fighting doesn't address the needs of the public school children nor those in the private sector.

Let's try to understand what is important here and that is the CHILDREN and the educational and fundamental success of each and everyone of them, and not satisfying the inane and sometimes self centered opinions of the adults.

We have to get back to the basics and that is educating the children in the community and doing whatever is necessary to motivate them to reach their idividual potentials no matter how they came to be in this school district and whehter they happen to use the public school or private school facilities. We are banking on all these children to be our future leaders. So lets stop this stupid childish squabbling and lets start acting like grown ups and caring adult citizens of a real community. Let's be role models for our children to follow and build a cohesive community that they can be proud of.

Give them some mutual goals that they can work towards and provide them with the type of support they need to meet them. Let's all play nice in the sandbox and show our children how its done!

5:02 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Debating the numbers released by the district is probably meaningless anyway, since they have a way of playing fast and loose with the numbers... Such as counting private school special ed. kids (who are dual enrolled) as public school kids when it's beneficial for the district's calculations, and leaving them out of the count otherwise.

6:02 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

In response to ...
Anonymous said...

"Why exactly do you care so much if a public school building is sold to a Yeshiva? Is that going to make your skin crawl and keep you from sleeping at night? Children need a place to learn whether they are in public or private schools and if there is a building that is available why does it bother you if a Yeshiva takes it over? That shows a lot of bias and negativity on your part. The school board will gain the $$$$$$$$$$ no matter who buys it."

The district will not benefit tax wise from the sale to a religious school. The district needs monies added to its tax base.

Closing schools to sell them to religious schools without consideration to the impact on the public school children is wrong.

6:52 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

"Closing schools to sell them to religious schools without consideration to the impact on the public school children is wrong."

Allowing any more school properties to be converted to residential developments is extremely short-sighted. When the demographics and needs of the district change in the years to come, where will there be property to build new schools on if the existing properties are maintained as educational institutions?

7:00 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

"Closing schools to sell them to religious schools without consideration to the impact on the public school children is wrong."

Allowing any more school properties to be converted to residential developments is extremely short-sighted. When the demographics and needs of the district change in the years to come, where will there be property to build new schools on if the existing properties are not maintained as educational institutions?

7:00 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

anon 2:02

Great idea, I think that the district could extend services liek that to ALL children and maybe we'd see the benefits of the public schools

10:26 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

do we really need to know where the enrollment was 10 or even 30 years ago. I think by assuming what the enrollment is in Pre-K and K now, shouldn't we use at the future enrollment, say in 5 years. Wouldn't it just make sense?

10:29 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

We know there are fewer kids coming into the system and there are kids leaving the district between K and 12th, so the number of kids starting pre-school isn't really dispositive of anything. But in order to understand whether the buildings are under-utilized, it would help to know how many kids they have actually held in the past.

10:45 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

property to build new schools on if the existing properties

Although I understand your thought thoughts, unfortunately due to federal and state laws, even if the board wanted to sell to the yeshievas they couldn't. Why? First the laws are clear on supporting religous educational institutions. If a school is closed then sold to a yeshieva, they board would open themselves up to federal charges. It really does not matter a building will not close this year, no matter what is said, considering the violations on the teachers contract, classroom overcrowding and the poor scores, (1 math tutor for 3 schools) the board understands that a class action suit would be brought, and injunction would be issued. The state is currently looking at a few schools in brooklyn that have been clocked at more than fifteen miles, and they are also investigating the textbook records, as signatures on file need to be for every child, I think right now they have enough trouble with the state starting an investigation to worry about school closings......

11:27 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

So your hatred is now out in the open

Personally you are so far off, because I am jewish as well, and I fume every time somone comes up with a comment like yours. It is a cop out, and a way to say poor poor us. Read the person above, they cannont sell to a yeshieva. It would bring lawsuits like you would not believe. You do not know what is going on and yes the state is quietly review complaints, do not push this issue, the actual decline of students is 10% over 7 years. Not enough of a difference to show severe decline. The only thing the board is supposed to think about is educating the public children, This is federal laws. People need to start listening to that.

11:37 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Exactly who from "the state" said they're going to "step in" and take over the district

No one is taking over the district, but certain minority parents have filed a formal complaint against the school and school board for violating there childrens civil rights. I am not allowed to go into details, but trust me, it is going to get worse

11:40 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

" The state is currently looking at a few schools in brooklyn that have been clocked at more than fifteen miles, and they are also investigating the textbook records, as signatures on file need to be for every child, I think right now they have enough trouble with the state starting an investigation to worry about school closings......"

"certain minority parents have filed a formal complaint against the school and school board for violating there childrens civil rights. I am not allowed to go into details, but trust me, it is going to get worse"


I just love the mystery and intrigue of these statements. They're just as laughable as the notion of "the state" stepping in to take control. The state has no interest in this district unless there is obvious corruption.
But it's funny how some people think that if they talk enough about "the state stepping in" and "the state keeping a close watch on things" and "the state getting ready to pounce on those orthodox jews for commandeering the district and trying to steal school buildings from the poor dwindling public school population" (you get the point), it will actually come true, or, the big bad orthodox board members will feel threatened and throw in the towel.

GET A LIFE!
GET OVER IT ALREADY!
LEARN TO DEAL WITH DEMOCRACY! (or move to Cuba or North Korea)

11:52 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

"certain minority parents have filed a formal complaint against the school and school board for violating there childrens civil rights. I am not allowed to go into details, but trust me, it is going to get worse"

Thus far, the state has laughed at every stupid complaint filed by chief complainant meyerson - they'd better come up with some credible claims or a better (i.e. paid) lawyer if they want the state to take them seriously.

12:14 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Thus far, the state has laughed at every stupid complaint filed by chief complainant meyerson

GET A LIFE!

Now let me stress this again, these parents have nothing to do with the above mentioned person. There have been meetings with the minority community, you keep saying orthodox community, this is not a religous issue, if it was we would be in violation of the federal law. You keep going on how the state laughs. The NY times, read this web site, the Newsday prints articles, the community voted down a budget less than austerity, but yet the The board of Education vs ALlen lawsuit, 1967 which set the standard, said the responsibility of the district to provide books,transportation,and special services, within moderation. Spending 3,000,000 on busing, it turns out is not moderation, also it seems we technically lend textbooks to all private schools and records are supposed to be kept and they are not. Laugh all you want, never was it said the state would take over, and these issues are not at a state level they are at a federal level. Laugh joke all you want, the lawyers helping these people are constitutional lawyers who have volunteered to help, and believe me when I tell you when it all gets filed and comes out, you will be taking this seriously. In the mean time, keep thinking the board will give the yeshievas more, whatever, by law they can't. No matter what 20 years from now, you still are only going to get what you get now, very little. Not because we are trying to screw you, but because it's the LAW

12:48 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

better (i.e. paid) lawyer if they want the state to take them seriously.

12:14 AM

How bout the NAACP, they have so graciously voluntered for us, is that good enough.

12:50 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

HERE IS THE LIFE

Bush Counts on Allies in Iraq, Asia to Stop Violence, Nuclear Weapons

12:51 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

OK, so now we have "the state" stepping to in to take over the district, we have the NAACP suing the school board because the district is lending a lot of textbooks and providing bus service to private school students.

This smells a lot like a Meyerson complaint - are you sure there are big-time constitutional lawyers involved. (I can certainly see why they would find these issues so compelling.) Maybe you can even get a candidate for national office involved and he/she can use the textbook and busing issues as a platform.

1:03 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

"The board of Education vs ALlen lawsuit, 1967 which set the standard, said the responsibility of the district to provide books,transportation,and special services, within moderation. Spending 3,000,000 on busing, it turns out is not moderation"

Don't you think they might want to take on East Ramapo first - with 8,000 kids in public school and 16,000 in private school, they must be in serious violation of the "moderation doctrine"

Then again, the "moderation doctrine" seems eerily similar to the "orthodox jews have no right to get elected to a school board" and the various other winning arguments raised by meyerson. (Is she working in tandem with the NAACP, "the state" and the feds? Now that would be a dream team!)

1:13 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Spending 3,000,000 on busing, it turns out is not moderation

3mill out of almost 90 mill, that sounds like a very small %

7:19 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

You are all a bunch of immature idiots. Its about children, and I have kids in both systems, so I am in the middle. For the sake of all the children STOP IT.

7:47 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

she working in tandem with the NAACP, "the state" and the feds? Now that would be a dream team!)

This has nothing to do with meyerson, this has to do with the fact as an african american I find my child to be suffering while the rest of this community fights. I called the naacp,aclu,and the state. If you have a problem with that then deal with them when the investigation starts. Until then stop whining about what your entitled to. The law states, books,transportation,and special education when qualified. The school board could be all blue for all I care and that will not change. You can close all the schools, and you still will get no more than you get now. So, when there are no building left and everyone has moved, and you hoodlums and thugs in this district, and the gangs have taken over(yes inwood has a gang problem)
then who you cry to.

8:31 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Lemon v. Kurtzman (1971)
On June 28th, 1971, the Court unanimously (7-0) determined that the direct government assistance to religious schools was unconstitutional

NAACP gave this to me.

8:40 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

"This has nothing to do with meyerson, this has to do with the fact as an african american I find my child to be suffering while the rest of this community fights. I called the naacp,aclu,and the state. If you have a problem with that then deal with them when the investigation starts. Until then stop whining about what your entitled to. The law states, books,transportation,and special education when qualified. The school board could be all blue for all I care and that will not change. You can close all the schools, and you still will get no more than you get now. So, when there are no building left and everyone has moved, and you hoodlums and thugs in this district, and the gangs have taken over(yes inwood has a gang problem)
then who you cry to.

Lemon v. Kurtzman (1971)
On June 28th, 1971, the Court unanimously (7-0) determined that the direct government assistance to religious schools was unconstitutional

NAACP gave this to me."
"

Well, now that you say that the NAACP gave you this snippet, I'd imagine the new board members might as well just resign. Wake up and smell the coffee - the new school board has not violated anyone's constitutional rights by a long shot, and nothing that they're doing even comes close to "direct government assistance to religious schools" which has already been scrutinized and interpreted hundreds, if not thousands of times (and has been generally interpreted to provide more latitude to government bodies wishing to provide funding or services to religious institutions). If this is the best you've got, you might as well waste your time with meyerson and file your non-starter complaints together with hers.

Ironically, your agenda clearly isn't about minority students suffering academically, because this is the first board in years that has shifted the focus to improving services for minority and underperforming students rather than taking the elitist status quo mentality of the previous board, which focused on the better performing kids and then just blamed the district's underperformance on minority children and children from broken homes as a scapegoat (while devoting little, if any, efforts on their improvement).

11:58 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

first board in years that has shifted the focus to improving services for minority and underperforming student

Interesting, thanks for the lecture, funny though aren't two members of this board from previous boards. Either way, my agenda is clear, make sure the public schools get all the funding, which legally they are entitled to, and let the private schools get books,transportation, and special education. This is not a screw the yeshieva issue, It is a legal issue, if you want to believe or not,

12:40 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Your agenda is clear as day. Although you initially waved the banner of minority students, you're actually all about stifling democracy and keeping the orthodox from getting anything more than minimal services - which is no different than the meyerson agenda (which isn't getting much traction outside of the local press). That being the case, the NAACP is obviously not going to take much of an interest.

At least we still have "the state" and the feds stepping in under the "moderation doctrine"

1:20 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

This is not an orthodox issue, this is not about you. This has nothing to do with Meyerson, this has to do with the under federal law my child has the right to be educated under a public schools system. This public school system under law is not allowed to acknoldedge ANY religous school except to offer books,transportation,special ed,. This is why the NAACP is involved. Stop with the everyone hates me because I am orthodox, it has to do with one thing, the civil rights of public school children to get what is entitled to them under law, that is why the NAACP has chosen to get involved. Ms Meyerson is an accomplished attorney, I would not pick on anyone who is so bright and articulate, it shouldn't threaten you women can do more than stay at home.

2:22 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

The law clearly states any RELIGOUS school should not be given more but basic services, catholic schools don't sit there and whine over something that has been in exsistance sincethe 1800's. I find it hard to imagine, you feel that yeshievas are above everyone else.

2:26 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

yah, yah, yah

The district is not allowed to "acknowledge" any religious school, and the public school grades are poor because the district is "acknowledging" religious schools.

You're right - this isn't anti-orthodox - it's delusional

2:29 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

"The law clearly states any RELIGOUS school should not be given more but basic services, catholic schools don't sit there and whine over something that has been in exsistance sincethe 1800's. I find it hard to imagine, you feel that yeshievas are above everyone else."

Then bring on the law!

All this silly talk about the NAACP and "the state" and the feds and violating the constitution spells out one thing - SORE LOSERS

And the frivolous complaints and lawsuits being ignored by the commissioner of education certainly don't lend any more credibility to your "legal" threats.

Why don't you come up with a legal threat that sticks before throwing around all this stuff about the feds and the state and all the constitutional and civil liberty violations. Or, you can continue to humor everyone with uninformed notions of egregious wrongdoing and visions of billion dollar lawsuits that will restore glory to the district.

2:42 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

SORE LOSERS

I am not complaining about the board, I am just seeking out what is rightfully the entitlement of the public school children, and these frivilous whining complaints from a community that thinks entitlement means controlling the world, Private schools are not entitled to any more than what is allowed, why do you think the Newsday,New York Times, and any other newspaper has done stories on this district, have you noticed nothing has been done about ramapo? Everyone can't be out for the orthodox community, if so there would be more articles from different communitites. Give up te soap box and stop, this community will not be brought back to glory till all monies are spent where they are supposed to be spent on the public school children,.

3:00 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

You're right - this isn't anti-orthodox - it's delusional

Why because if the courts agree with the parents of the public schools you will get what by law you are supposed to, or you feel your control slipping away, because we as a community the public school community is not going to let you get away with this bullying and blockbusting anymore.

3:02 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

"why do you think the Newsday,New York Times, and any other newspaper has done stories on this district, have you noticed nothing has been done about ramapo?"

Is that the best legal support you can find? Newsday and NYT have an anti-private school agenda before they even begin to write.

There have been significant advances in Ramapo with respect to services for children in private school.

Once again, no one is suggesting that you're not entitled to challenge the district or the board in court. You're just a SORE LOSER, because there hasn't been any successful challenge or even a credible threat, yet you continue to carry on with silly treats about legal action by the NAACP and others.

3:18 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

There have been significant advances in Ramapo with respect to services for children in private school.

I have no idea what is going on in ramapo I can tell you whatever you think is just fine, but whatever advances you might feel you are entitled to , are not happening, now or ever, so keep smoking what ever it is you are, election year, let us be realists, this go federal, those red states really do not have sympathy for non public schools, we are prepared to go all the way to the supreme court, and when it does, your silly little treat comment will be just that another dumb threat by a group of people who are so against discrimination that when it comes to their own backyard, that is all they do take take take

3:51 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

You may be prepared to go to the Supreme Court, but I can't see anything here that the Supreme Court will want to hear. The district provides private school stidents with bussing, books and special ed. And that is all it provides.

We have much more to worry about if the county or state decides to reallocate money from "richer" districts or imposes a county income tax because we might lose a lot of money that way.

Ramapo is just 10 years ahead of us (they crossed the line of having more private school students before we did). AFAIK (from talking to a public school parent from Ramapo) the fighting over there is basically over. And his daughter was happy and doing well in public school.

4:38 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Did you see the amount of public school parents that moved? Also, Board of Education vs aLLAN WAS ONLY 4-3, very close, don't you think.

5:04 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

SORE LOSERS

5:49 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

No one's lost anything yet.

9:37 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

unless you consider the the landslide defeat in May a loss

11:25 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

1-Clements is a far bigger racist than the board will ever be. Whilst the board screams about public school achievement, Clements keeps blaming changing demographics. In other words, you-can't-expect-our-highest-in -the-county-paid-teachers-to-teach-black-kids-from-Inwood. That should infuriate you more than a few bus stops.
2-What, exactly, are the private schools getting, aside from legally mandated textbooks, transportation, and special ed?

7:46 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

In response to ...
Anonymous said...

1-Clements is a far bigger racist than the board will ever be. Whilst the board screams about public school achievement, Clements keeps blaming changing demographics. In other words, you-can't-expect-our-highest-in -the-county-paid-teachers-to-teach-black-kids-from-Inwood. That should infuriate you more than a few bus stops.
2-What, exactly, are the private schools getting, aside from legally mandated textbooks, transportation, and special ed?
7:46 AM

YOU'RE POST DOESN'T EVEN WARRANT A RESPONSE.

10:11 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

No surprise here...
Once again Orthomom continues to spread the love!
Happy?

8:42 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Didn't the district just get a full audit from the State Comptrollers office? Didn't the look into all the allegations made by ALPS and Mrs. Greenbaum and found they had no merit.

Hasen't the performance of our children been going down for a number of years? What did the prior BOE, of which Mrs. Greenbaum was on the majority, do to address the issue and improve our kids performance? Didn't she get Mr. Clements help to get elected? Didn't she and her majority BOE approve a teachers contract, limiting class sizes, guarnteeing teaching positions and a new contract with guarnteed raises for Dr. Fitzsimmons? The new BOE is trying to address the needs of ALL the students, unlike the prior majority BOE. Stop casting stones and get back to the real issue, educating children

11:05 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

The new BOE is trying to address the needs of ALL the students,

Interesting, I tried to believe that, but when I get a note home on the 22nd of October, stating my child's class is overcrowded and would I like to move him to another school, I would love to know what has been going on for 3 months. Pamela Greenbaum, is not the enemy, she is one of the few boardmembers who is for education. The first order of business with this district is to stop the rumors. For those of us who attend board meetings, I find it amazing to see all the writings of parents who are not informed correctly. Educating the children of the public school is the only responsibility of this board by law. They cannot discuss anything more, except what is written in the Blaine and the Allan updated amendments, as soon as this community understands that no matter if you pay taxes are not the constitution affords for one thing, public schools can only look at public school children, except in cases of special education, which by the way Mrs. Greenbaum, has been at every Septa
meeting and has asked for investigations into denials of services, ladies we have one person on this board who has raised children and understands there needs, lets support her, and not the people who have agenda's and special interests.

4:41 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

unless you consider the the landslide defeat in May a loss

Do you really think we were upset about the election enough to be called sore losers. 4:41 is right, if these guys were doing a great job, mazel tov, but things are far more screwed up then every. Wanting to what the constitution affords my child is not being a sore loser, it is being a mother....

4:42 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

highest in the-county-paid-teachers-to-teach-

First off are teachers are not the highest paid. Do not quote things you have no idea about. Oceanside is the highest, then other schools follow. Are teachers pay the highest towards there benefits and pensions. So before you quote, at least verify. The teachers, teach, but when you have one math specialist for 3 schools and 100 children it is hard, add the overcrowding, and the recipe is failure. Come to think about it, don't throw stones at are school, when the private school scores were horrible. Call the state and verify. Before you tell me it is none of my business, look at one thing, these children who are not doing well are being referred for evaluations, costing the district at $4,000 a pop, when it turns out they don't qualify, foul is cried, well not true. Before you say it is our responsibility, no it is not, sorry you pay taxes, but the laws are the laws, so think before you write.

4:46 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

The prior BOE put in caps on class sizes to ensure more teaching positions

The boe put in caps, because there were 26 children in a class in a lot of the schools last year, and if you looked into it and not listened to gossip, you would be somewhat informed, but keep up the good gossip, and wrong information.

4:55 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

"Come to think about it, don't throw stones at are school, when the private school scores were horrible."

Can someone tell me where these terrible private school scores are to be found? Or, are they a closely kept secret that can't be corroborated?

"The boe put in caps, because there were 26 children in a class in a lot of the schools last year, and if you looked into it and not listened to gossip, you would be somewhat informed, but keep up the good gossip, and wrong information."

You're not the only one who goes to meetings and follows the board's actions closely. There is no moral equivalent for the way the "public school board members" have been in bed with the union for years. Signing a contract with the teachers in the 11th hour represented politics at its worst, at throwing more money (and an extension) at Fitzsimons before his new contract even began could not possibly be justified considering his lack of accomplishment in the district.

When was the last time anyone has heard Parise, Barry, Kopilow, Greenbaum or even Licatesi or Harris demand accountability from the teachers and administrators in the district (rather than accepting the usual "minority" spin for poor performance)?

9:51 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Can someone tell me where these terrible private school scores are to be found? Or, are they a closely kept secret that can't be corroborated?

Call the state they will give them to you,

Dr. Fitzsimmons contract was voted on and the whole board approved him. We don't hold him responsible as it is the board refusing to hire another math tutor to service the three schools, I am sure there is some logic to have one math specialist for three schools,
as far as the teachers contract since you follow so closely, our teachers pay the most towards there benefits than any other district on long island, there raise was minimal, and if you think asking for a cap on students, is bad, well sorry, this new board has once again shown where there loyalties are, thursday parents have been asked to meet with school officials about overcrowding in one of the schools, we are be asked to volunteer are children to be transferred to another school to ease the overcrowding, that right there sums it up, last have a meeting about people who complain of having to many children to walk to a bus stop and ignore the fact our classrooms are overcrowded, that is our school board, the one for all our children

2:03 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

"Call the state they will give them to you"

Hogwash - I called the state and they said there were no such test scores released. If they've been publicized, then they would be online. Who ever cooked this story up about the private school test scores really took you for a ride.

"Dr. Fitzsimmons contract was voted on and the whole board approved him."

The fact the board approved him 3 years ago doesn't mean there's any justification for throwing an extra year and a pay raise at him before his term even began. There's no plausible explanation for what they did, other than a concerted effort to make it more expensive for any subsequent board to replace Fitzsimons.

"as far as the teachers contract since you follow so closely, our teachers pay the most towards there benefits than any other district on long island, there raise was minimal,"

... classic union logic - Who cares how little the salaries increased or how much they're paying in for benefits, when they're still near the best compensated on LI? Yes, of course, Manhasset teachers do make a little more, but they also are on the US News national list of top schools.

"parents have been asked to meet with school officials about overcrowding in one of the schools, we are be asked to volunteer are children to be transferred to another school to ease the overcrowding,"

What do you expect them to do? Build another wing? Maybe they should make an offer to buy back the HAFTR building on Central. What possible alternative is there to transfering children to another building, when one building is overcrowded?

10:51 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Anonymous said...
Can someone tell me where these terrible private school scores are to be found? Or, are they a closely kept secret that can't be corroborated?

Call the state they will give them to you,

Dr. Fitzsimmons contract was voted on and the whole board approved him. We don't hold him responsible as it is the board refusing to hire another math tutor to service the three schools, I am sure there is some logic to have one math specialist for three schools,
as far as the teachers contract since you follow so closely, our teachers pay the most towards there benefits than any other district on long island, there raise was minimal, and if you think asking for a cap on students, is bad, well sorry, this new board has once again shown where there loyalties are, thursday parents have been asked to meet with school officials about overcrowding in one of the schools, we are be asked to volunteer are children to be transferred to another school to ease the overcrowding, that right there sums it up, last have a meeting about people who complain of having to many children to walk to a bus stop and ignore the fact our classrooms are overcrowded, that is our school board, the one for all our children


Learn to spell. It's "their" not "there" --> OBVIOUSLY A PRODUCT OF THE "NEW" LAWRENCE SCHOOL SYSTEM

3:19 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

What do you expect them to do? Build another wing?

No hire another teacher, like they should have, the board was informed in august, and they choose to do nothing. The parents of the public schools will not tolerate this discrimination. It is public school cleansing, and we have a limit. This will continue on and on, and you know what, you still will only get books, the aclu claims we need to see a pattern of cuts, we are all waiting for this board to hang themselves. So guess what, in the end what comes around goes around.

The scores are not published online, you have to call and ask for them individually by school. If it's such hogwash, don't follow it up. I am telling you I called got the scores, and the public schools did far better.

The new board voted on Dr F contract so go complain to your new board. e

3:55 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I read an interesting article in the Herald this weekend. The H-W middle school in in need of some repair and renovation. Some parents feel it should be knocked down and a new building built which is way out of budget and voted down. There was a compromise plan that seems reasonable and sounds like it could be worked out. As a community member I am all for fixing up the school buildings any student uses, I don't want to see any child in danger or any environment not updated to the best effective use of the children's educational welfare.

But there was one more little piece of information that was quite enlightening. There seems to be a "community pool" on one of the school campuses. Now this was news to me, and something that I find very interesting and a big secret that none of us knew about. We have been looking for a pool that our kids could use after school and on weekends and there never seemed to be one. Low and behold, the Herald announced that there was a community pool on school property.

Can anyone fill me in on where this is located?

6:43 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

"I am telling you I called got the scores, and the public schools did far better."

Then why won't you share the details? Or did they just tell you that the "public schools did far better"?

6:44 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

"Learn to spell. It's "their" not "there" --> OBVIOUSLY A PRODUCT OF THE "NEW" LAWRENCE SCHOOL SYSTEM"

Good catch, but it's pretty silly to poke fun when all of the proud Lawrence graduates and PTA activists here have horrible grammar and spelling too.

6:46 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

In response to ...

"What do you expect them to do? Build another wing? Maybe they should make an offer to buy back the HAFTR building on Central. What possible alternative is there to transfering children to another building, when one building is overcrowded?"

No we do not expect a wing ... we expect the BOE to honor the class size stipulation that is in the teachers' contract ... not to play musical schools ... just so they do not have to make another class to meet the needs of the overcrowding.

8:35 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

so sue them if you really think you're right

fortunately, you live in a democratic society where there's a built in system of checks and balances

If what they're doing was so wrong, they'd be out of business already

Either way, quit whining already

9:45 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I agree - quit whining over over your kids' education already. For heaven's sake, there are much more important issues going on in the 5 Towns. Have you NOT heard about the chicken scandal ?!

10:18 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Pool? What pool, where? tell me!!!

11:22 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

There is a swimming POOL in the HW (Hewlett- Woodmere) High School, but as far as I know you need to be the district resident (14 that is) in order to use it. Try contacting the Community Services:
http://www.hewlett-woodmere.net/district_information/community_service.php

BTW: SD 15 does not have such services, due to the budget cuts. And we don't have swimming pool either.

4:33 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

If I vote for the budget this year, will we get a smimming pool?

5:00 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

if you are being sarcastic...it doesn't help.

on the other hand, I've heard that JCC is expanding its facilities...is there going to be a pool there? Just curious.

8:08 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

The funny ALL the parents in this district.

1. The board showed the actual cost per pupil at the board meeting with teachers salary, this came to 14,000, when asked what the balance was for no answer was given.

2. Members of this community are being told consolidation is needed when as of right now it is not.

3. The principals of this district informed the board in August of this violation and there comment was to wait so that people can move then the numbers go down,

4. The cap number is not unreasonable. 21+1 In forth grade it goes up to 25, these numbers are far higher than the nassau county average.

5. There is the way to fix the schools without spending any tax payer money. It is called the excel grant, This would update all buildings, and fix needed repairs, it also would provided new technology, and maybe even a pool. I do not know for sure. The district would have to vote on it, the board is not interested, at all. It seems to me this board has an agenda for I do not know who.

4:42 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

You spin propaganda almost as well as the superintendent. Do you have anything to back up your "facts"? Or, are they all hearsay like "I called the state and they told me the private school scores were much lower"?

That $14k number is a joke. It's part of the duck and dodge game that is played with the district's finances. Any way you spin the numbers, this district spends far more than most districts that perform far better. Last time someone raised a question about the per student expenditure at a meeting, the asst. superindentent "explained" that really the per student instructional expenditure is $14k. Of, course, what was not explained is that the stated average per student instructional expenditure is only $7k, and that comparable districts spend far less.

And you've gotta love the way our new financial point person fumbles every number (and the projector) while trying to convince us that in some twisted, convoluted way, we're really spending less than everyone else.

7:04 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

What about that number she came up with for administrative cost per student - $74!

While Fitzsimons was bragging about how little our administration costs (in salary and benefits) compared to the other schools which were double that, one of the board member pointed out that 3500 x $74 comes out to less than even Fitzsimons' salary and benefits, although it should include salary and benefits for all the administrators.

Of course, the new financial expert had no idea how to respond and had no idea where any of the numbers came fromo.

You've got to give them credit for at least trying to make it look good.

This administration really needs to shift its focus from duping the parents and the public, to the business of academic excellence and helping kids strive regardless of their race, nationality or background.

And that presentation was a classic example of the district's misdirected focus and waste of resources.

7:26 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Do you have anything to back up your "facts"? Or, are they all hearsay like "I called the state and they told me the private school scores were much lower"?

Call the state tell them you are looking at private schools and would like the state test results and give them the name of the private school. They will give you the exact scores, The women who spoke at the board meeting has the exact scores, I was told she did not want to embarass the non-public school board members.
The local schools had more children at 1 and 2 than our district and the Roosevelt school district, hence embarassing.

Enough with the budget numbers, we all know the goal of this community is equal to public school cleansing. You get books,transportation,and special education, and the way federal government is changing the laws, you probably won't be getting much of that next year, not passing the budget does not scare us we've been there done that, threats of enrolling your kids in public school to raise our taxes, not very bright, considering most would save 48,000 per year in private school tuition, hmm now that sounds really intellectual, you know what at the end of the day the following holds will always be true,
The non public schools will continue to get exactly what they are getting now, and drum roll please,,,,,,No matter how many schools you close, your taxes will not go down, no matter what, and the people who say taxes are $10,000 a year; newsflash not all is forschool taxes, and the state spending average of $7,000 is for all of New York State, since Long Island is a small part of New York State, and taxes and housing costs are far less in areas north of Putnam county, I would say that is where they get there figure. Must be a product of the local non-public schools.


The 14,000 spent per pupil, means we are spending $10,000 on busing, some (crown heights) are over the legal 15 mile limit.

Please write me back after you speak with the state. Or even better Newsday years ago used to publish the non public scores in the paper, call them and ask where to get copies. Then you can make judgement, my guess, you will want to know why your wasting your money on schools that are not education your children.
Oh and one more thing, don't start with screw the jews, because public school cannot discuss
religion, federal law, heads we win tails we win......

7:34 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

The principals of this district informed the board in August of this violation and there comment was to wait so that people can move then the numbers go down,
You spin propaganda almost as well as the superintendent. Do you have anything to back up your "facts

In a meeting today with the principal of one of the elementary schools, a parent asked how long did the board know about the overcrowding, he informed the parents the board and the district knew since the classes were formed, and he was told not to make the extra class, resulting in the violations. Funny though, they had a meeting to listen to a bunch of women whine about the fact they have no help in the morning and they need to have door to door, but educational meeting,,,,
I don't know looks like another cut,hopefully this board will continue to cut programs in order to meet community pressure, exactly what we need, thank you non public, you continue to show exactly what we want to prove, discrimination amongst our poor poor minority children,,,,,,,

The financial person you make fun of was hired and approved by the whole board you know the one for all the children that is public school children as per federal guidelines.

7:44 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Or, are they all hearsay like "I called the state and they told me the private school scores were much lower"?

Better yet, ask Halb and Haftr to publish the scores in the paper, if the gossip is wrong, no harm, but if it was right,,, shame on you egg on your face,,,,,

7:46 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I know we can always walk around spraying bleach on people,

7:53 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Why would HALB and HAFTR publish their scores in the paper?

If the state has publicized these scores, then how come no one can locate them?

9:46 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

What did someone say about whining earlier? I recall our programs being cut more and more over the past 10 years till all of our after school and Sunday programs were gone.

Thank YOU public school voters.

10:11 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I just find this so very interesting that the non-jewish or non-religious community found their way into "orthomom's" blog, to battle their so called issues out on the internet on a site that belongs to an orthodox person, that was probably meant for discussions among her own community.

Now a lot of very nasty things have been written here and this really is not a "public domain", however, Orthomom has chosen not to censor any posts.

IMHO (in my humble opinion) this has really gone way too far and people have gone too far out of line. If you want to discuss issues between religious and non-religious community, or public vs private schools which would then also include the W/H academy, you should call a Town Hall meeting either at City Hall or at the Country Club with the Mayor and the trustees as well as the school board and air out your differences accordingly.

Using this blog and the privacy of anonymity to be really vicious and disrespectful of your neighbors is immature and unfair to the hostess.

10:22 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Very well said!

I think it's time for an unorthomom to open up shop, and then all the orthos can whine there

What ever happened to that ALPS website - that used to be entertaining too

10:30 PM  

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