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Tuesday, September 04, 2007

Pre-K Busing Suspended???

I received the following email suggesting that pre-K busing in SD15 for private school children has been suspended pending review by the government. The suspension appears to be in response to complaints arising from the voters' approval of a measure providing for busing for pre-K private school children this past spring. SD15 previously limited pre-K busing to public school children. Pre-K busing for public school children is not affected by the suspension:
It has come to my attention that our requests for the State Department of Education to review the Pre-K Busing issues in our district are being addressed. As of this evening, there will be NO Pre-K Busing for any school until further investigation by the State. I believe the timing of this is a bit unfortunate being the day before school starts, however, better late than never! Our voices are being heard!
More to come.UPDATED: And here is the scoop from the Jewish Star:
A day before school, Pre-K busing on hold
State education commish upholds appeal of referendum


By Mayer Fertig

Parents counting on Pre-K busing for their youngest school-age children in the Lawrence School District will have to scramble to make other arrangements.

The Jewish Star has confirmed that New York State Education Commissioner Richard Mills has put the Pre-K busing plan on hold, upholding an appeal of the referendum which approved extending busing services to all Pre-K students in the district who met guidelines established by the board. In a decision which was signed on Friday, Aug. 31, 2007, but not made public until Tuesday, Sept. 4, at a reporter’s request, Mills ordered the district to “refrain from using district resources to transport
pre-K children.”

A spokesman for the education department, Jonathan Berman, said the commissioner would not answer questions or comment further since it is the policy of the education department “to let the commissioner’s ruling speak for itself.”

Calls to Superintendent John Fitzsimons were not returned before The Jewish Star’s publication deadline on Tuesday afternoon. Former District 15 board president Asher Mansdorf, who championed the across-the-board busing service to both public and private schools said, “I find it intriguing that the state board of education can give you a grant to pay for part of Pre-K busing for Universal Pre-K, implying that other public money would pay for the rest, and then turn around and say public money
can’t pay for pre-K busing?”

The commissioner’s ruling specifically said that current Pre-K busing services are not affected by his decision.

Mansdorf expressed confidence that the commissioner’s ruling would be reversed on appeal. Other comment was not available before deadline.

UPDATE II: Newsday on the matter, informing us that the board voted at last night's meeting to appeal the decision.

145 Comments:

Anonymous Anonymous said...

No doubt this stems from ALPS' concerns for the safety of these children travelling on the buses without matrons.

7:02 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

No doubt this stems from the State seeing that transporting 4 year olds is not in the best interest of public school education.

7:28 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

um, its safe ti transport 4 year olds who attend public school but not 4 year olds who attend private school? Explain please?

7:36 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

no safety issue best interest meaning the education of the public school children should not be diminished by the cost of putting a small child on a bus for an undetermined amount of money. Wasteful spending public or private there are so many more deserving issues like the safety of the public school children in unsafe buildings You choose private schools for whatever reason the public school children should not suffer because of a promise made by Mr. Kaufman
Maybe the entitlement end of these issue could begin to stop here.
Want all that the public schools have to offer send the kids to public schools

7:47 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Pre k busing represents a tiny fraction of the overall budget. Hardly "all the public schools have to offer".

7:51 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

HEY ORTHOMOM
I GUESS YOU HAVE NOT HEARD ABOUT THE LETTER THAT WAS BEING LEFT IN MAILBOXES LAST WEEK. TYPED WITH NO SIGNATURE SAYING HOW PROPERTY VALUES WERE GOING WAY DOWN DUE TO THE DESTRUCTION OF THE SCHOOL DISTRICT BY THE NEWLY ELECTED SCHOOL BOARD. PEOPLE IN INWOOD AND OTHER NON ORTHODOX AREAS HAD THEM IN THEIR MAILBOXES PLEADING THEM TO GO TO THE SCHOOL BOARD MEETINGS AND FIGHT THIS. LOOKS LIKE THE HATE MONGERS ARE RALLYING THE TROOPS FOR THE START OF ANOTHER SCHOOL YEAR FULL OF FIGHTING AND HATRED.

8:24 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I have no problem with the decision but with the timing. If the district was at all concerned with the saftey of these 4 year olds they would not be creating a last minute unorganized and caotic dismissal, that isn't in the best interest of any child. The schools work hard to make carpool numbers and staggering dismissal times to avoid this. If this decision was so important it could have been made a week ago so that parents could make the proper arrangements for their kids. I think that the timing of this just is a way of bulling the current board and showing them who really is in charge. This is a diservice to the children.

8:26 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

That's a hoot. Property values have only gone up with demographic shift in the neighborhood.

There's no question that property values are adversely impacted by a failing school district in typical communities, but anyone who thinks that's the case in Lawrence obviously hasn't been trying to buy or sell a house.

8:27 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

yea right look in inwood and say the same thing prices have been going down for some time now maybe we need you orthodox to move in and rescue us just like you have rescued our children from all those terrible school boards before you just think if you do that you might be able to close all the school buildings

8:48 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

fear not - half the property in inwood is already owned by orthodox speculators

8:59 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

i'm sure it is and now you will finish destroying the schools and try to by at dirt cheap prices just like the dirt people you are i will never sell to you scum and will do my best to make life as miserable as possible for any of you that become my neighbors

9:09 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

real nice! you sound like the quite guy!

9:14 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Actually, I believe the school bussing was temporarily halted due to the fact that the original referendum granted certain bussing for private schools while excluding others due to arbitrary enrollment numbers. Immediately looking at this situation, it has created an exclusionary policy which is not allowed in a school district. If you choose to provide for some, you now need to provide for all. Another reason was that I believe matrons were added to the busses plus an additional $200,000 was added (I’m not sure if that is only to cover the matrons or for another reason) to the private school Pre-K bussing budget after the referendum was passed. Obviously the public did not have the opportunity to vote on these additional monies and it showed the arrogance and blatantly illegal movement of this board to simply allocate funds to private school needs where they see fit. Now, before anyone says it isn’t illegal, let me just point out that it is absolutely illegal for a school board to knowingly put a budget to a public vote when they know it will not adequately cover all expenses necessary (including $200K extra for bussing). I guess nobody on the board bothered to ask our overpaid attorneys about that one.

9:41 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Gee, campaign '08 has just gotten so much easier for the private school candidates. Thanks so much people-who-take-small-children-off-their-school-buses!!!

9:51 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

interesting point! i'm curious if anyone knows whats happening at the school board meeting tonite.

9:52 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Campaign '08 started 5 minutes after you block voted for your private school board, who do you actually think you are kidding?

9:54 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Gee, campaign '08 has just gotten so much easier for the private school candidates. Thanks so much people-who-take-small-children-off-their-school-buses!!!

Gee, let’s spin this and see if we can blame the board of regents or the NYS BOE for this too, then we can petition for more funds we're not entitled to. Maybe we can simply say they hate us and try to get the politicians involved...oh, guess not since we already used that ploy once. Hmmm, maybe we can claim they are trying to hurt our children, yea that should work everyone hates people who hurt children...get over yourself, you're just upset that someone is finally listening and bringing some of this Private School Board’s...oh, sorry I misspoke, I meant School Board's questionable ethical decisions to light.

10:03 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I am surprised at the community as a whole. While I think mills decision was a little late. I would like to know why people were not upset that certain yeshivas had pre-k kids were on with 4th graders. Where is all that money?

10:42 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Why wasn't this handled in a timely fashion? I hope all you hate-mongers are yucking it up as mothers that work for a living have to scramble at the last second to try to figure out how to get their children to school...

11:17 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

As a public school parent I am not laughing. I really think Mills decision was poorly timed. He could have released this decision weeks ago. No one is laughing about this. Why he did it at 3:00 this afternoon should be looked into. I only wish more MORTHERS from the religous community would come to these meetings and fight for all the children. I know that there were a few parents who stood up and yelled and most people respected them.

11:39 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

How come the article in the paper is printed on your site when the paper has not been released yet?

11:40 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

In order to truly understand the decision you have to read it. It had nothing to do with the referendum. It only had to do with state law. Look today two yeshivas received busing from the district which is against New York State Law, and nobody cared. Perhaps the monies can now be used for the older children who sit on the bus for 1 hour when their school is ten minutes away.

11:45 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

The timing of this decision is as irresponsible as anything I've ever seen. The district had planned this down to the last detail, bus drivers had already contacted parents and there were pickups scheduled for tomorrow morning. Suddenly these parents get a call (or a message on their answering machines) that their plans are kiboshed.

It is truly reprehensible for this to have happened the day before school started.

11:51 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I agree. People need to blame Mills, the decision was made 8/31

11:56 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

AGAIN
99% of the pre k bussing for public school #4 is paid for by a grant. A grant, not 9 private schools, only 1 public school.
I feel very sorry for the parents who have to worry about how their children will get to school.
I would also like to know how OM got the inside scoop, before the Bd. of Ed meeting that took place this evening, at 8pm, you posted at 6:36pm.

12:44 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

How do you manage to calculate the supposed 1% of the public school pre-k busing that is not paid for by a grant?

The reality is that far more than 1% is picked up directly by the taxpayers. It would be pretty ironic if this spiteful campaign let to the demise of the whole pre-k program.

1:04 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

i'm sure it is and now you will finish destroying the schools and try to by at dirt cheap prices just like the dirt people you are i will never sell to you scum and will do my best to make life as miserable as possible for any of you that become my neighbors

Another example of how to build bridges????

7:34 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Did anyone consider whether the busing contracts for this year will need to be paid anyhow? Does anyone think that this is a disgusting waste of money? Independent Busing gets their coffers filled while working mothers scramble for alternate transportation plans and the money isn't even going to go to public school students. No one wins here. No one.

7:34 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

NY State Law states that only K-12 bussing has to be provided to private schools. So an appeal will be dismissed. To provide above and beyond this is illegal with public tax monies.

As for 8:59PM's comments: "fear not - half the property in inwood is already owned by orthodox speculators." Yes, there are a lot of speculators who own property in Inwood, and many of those are running illegal 2 family homes, which will be dealt with by the Bulding Department. Others are "flipping" properties multiple times, taking out the equity and ultimately causing the properties to foreclose. I hope this speculators go to jail for their deeds - how can they live with themselves???

7:40 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I'm sure Independent Bus will work it out with the school district. They have been honorable people to the school district - much more honorable than the majority of losers on the school board!

7:42 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Anonymous said...

NY State Law states that only K-12 bussing has to be provided to private schools. So an appeal will be dismissed. To provide above and beyond this is illegal with public tax monies.


Only K-12 HAS to be provided. The board will probably argue that there is no law that says Pre-K CANNOT be provided.

7:53 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

But if you read Mill's decision, which is in today's Newsday, he said that it does not affect the Universal Pre-K program which is in effect in # 4 School.

The State Laws concerning private schools are very strict and the state does not deviate from them. By the same token, many private schools don't take advantage of many entitlements under these same laws.

8:08 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I feel bad for the parents that were counting on the bus to take the kid to school so they could get to work on time.

In the interest of peace in the community I think it was a huge mistake for the public school parents from ALPS that complained to the state that caused this to happen.

Hopefully the school board won't seek to punish the public school children's parents by hurting the optional programs that they need.

How this decision is not discriminatory I don't understand.... maybe a lawyer type out there could explain to us all.

9:44 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

9:44, sounds like you're threatening "public school" types with retribution. Hopefully are not in a position to act on your threat. I don't believe any public official - not even our school board members - would say something stoopid like that.

The decision says, simply, that the state grant authorizing the universal pre-k grant provides the authority for the district to offer transportation to the universal pre-k program. The state law requiring districts to offer private school transportation the same as to public school applies only for K-12. There is no other statute or regulation in state law allowing a district to pay public funds for private school pre-k busses.

9:59 AM  
Blogger scotty said...

I got a frantic call last night from a friend of mine who works and who has a daughter in pre-k that she was still trying to get a carpool together at 10:00PM Tuesday night. This is the most horrible display of political brinkmanship I've ever seen.

Parents and children were really really hurt today.

10:00 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

ref:11:45pm
what are the name of the two yehivas receiving monies for bussing?
The law allows for private school students transportation to school. The school district of Lawrence has for many years, gone up and beyond the limit of 15 miles from home to school. The limit is set by the state, and federal government.
The lawyers of the district should pay back the district for this, and how do you repay the sleepless night many parents had last night,
and nights to come?
The lawyers are hired by the bd. and payed for by the district. Like any other employee what ever the boss wants the boss gets. They should have known this could/would happen, and when the action was taken to stop the bussing, the lawyers should have been on top of the legal action, (hearing this because a reporter wanted the outcome) but the law firm has at least 25 other school district they represent,so was this small fries to them?
Tell that to all the private school parents of 4 years old.

10:06 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Two yeshivas received busing yesterday. No one received money. The students in the district were bused to school. NYS law prohibits transportation to ANY private school before public school starts. All the board needs to do is offer Pre-K busing to EVERY school and EVERY child, and we will have pre-k busing. The board's attorney's should have known the the state law. You can't pick and choose where you want to bus. The district knew about this last year it was filed in May. The board was overconfident thinking they are always in the right. I think it is horrible it was yesterday they found out. Blame the board,lawyers, but don't blame parents who knew the law and followed it. This is not a victory, it just shows the board is not telling the truth to any of us.

10:28 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

How this decision is not discriminatory I don't understand.... maybe a lawyer type out there could explain to us all

How about I want to send my child to catholic pre-k why can't I get busing? Is the board anti-semetic?

10:30 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

My children go to private school. I bring them to school myself. The children in my neighborhood who go to public school are able to do so in buses which are provided free of charge. I am fine with this. I have made the choice to send my children to private school instead of the free schools in my area, and it is my responsibility to bring them to and from school. If I want them to take advantage of the bus system that is in place, I will send them to public school.

I am so sick of people wanting to have their cake and eat it to.

Must everything turn into a fight? Why do people who move into an area, send their kids to religious school (which is their right) want to constantly fight the local people who are entitled to tax dollars paying for their public school systems which the private school people CHOOSE to not partake in, as is everyone's right?

No wonder people are furious and are turning into borderline anti-Semites out there. I send my kids to yeshivah but do so while willingly supporting the public schools in my area, so that they might offer good education and facilities to ALL the children in our area.

10:31 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

everyone stop crying because sometimes you need to be.... careful what you wish for ( majority of the board to do what YOU want ) regardless of the legalities ..because sometimes you just might get it ...curious as to why if this is such a pressing issue to the THRONGs of struggling private school mothers who have to scramble to find transportation today ..where were they all last night at the board meeting ? (not that you would have been able to state your concerns ) no public discussion section in the meeting ....welcome to OUR hell we are glad to have you here with us!!!!

10:43 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

9:44 in the interest of peace...
you feel it was a hugh mistake to complain.
If the Public School Bd. of Lawrence had taken the SAFETY of the public school students first, repaired phone lines, so nurses can call 911 in case of an emergencgy,(middle school and #6 school sometimes work sometimes not) updated computers, all are over 5 years old, taken down that rust covered payground thing at #6, and sued the contractors for shoddy work,
then when another $800,000 and then some, would be needed to pay for pre k bussing for private school parents of only 9 private schools, (the heck with the rest of the districts's pre k students,) then maybe we the public school parents would turn our backs on the law of the land,
said ok, we won't complain to the state.
Your line on hopefully the Public School Bd. of Lawrence won't hurt the optional programs of the Public School students. Nice.
By trying to close 2 more schools how do you think the Public School Bd. is not already hurting our students??
Where does the school bd. think all the special ed students are going to go? They need their own classrooms, not closets, or you just want to pretend they don't exist?

10:45 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

10:30am
Regardless of what type of pre k PRIVATE school, the LAW of State of New York,(and federal too) states no school district can pay for pre k bussing.
So why does the public school pre k program get a 'Grant' from the State of N.Y. to pay for pre k bussing?
(It's the State, they can do what they like),
no- really because of the underprivileged pre k students that attend the Public Schools of Lawrence.
Again to help the underprivileged students.

11:03 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Yeah, screw those underprivileged kids. Let 'em walk!

11:10 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I would urge all concerned parents who are upset over the timing of this decision to call the commissioner's office at 518-474-5844 and express their outrage.

I just called and the lady I spoke with wasn't even aware of the decision, so obviously not enough people are making themselves heard.

11:37 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

All the board needs to do is offer Pre-K busing to EVERY school and EVERY child, and we will have pre-k busing. The board's attorney's should have known the the state law. You can't pick and choose where you want to bus.

Evidently, you haven't read the decision. The Commissioner clearly stated that his decision has nothing do with the fact that busing may not have been offered to every school and every child.

11:54 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

11:54, the decision did not address the "eight yeshiva" issue because of the over-riding illegality of the measure - but the Point the Board should recognize is that the grievance would never have been made - and that transportation law argument never would have been found - if parents were not so upset about the fact that the district was offering busses only to yeshivas. No bus to Long Beach Catholic, Lawrence Woodmere Academy, any Montessori schools. It was simply asking for scrutiny, and scrutiny, it received. You'd be surprised how many people in this district are NOT scrambling to make other arrangements because there was no bus to their pre-k school anyway.

12:06 PM  
Anonymous Observer said...

Anon 10:31. While agree with some of what you say but I disagree with the your basic premise. I too choose to send my children to private school. I don't ask anyone to help pay my tuition -- nor should I. I also agree that it is important that we have strong public schools that are well-funded through public financing. My disagreement is with your position that since I choose to send my children to private school I have somehow given up the right to seek equal access to "extras" provided to children in the District. The state has certain mandates which must, and should, be met and funded. It is somewhat equal access to "extras" beyond what is mandated that I think fair and appropriate for all of the District's children. If the District chooses to provide pre-K bussing for some kids in the District (unless it is needs-based), then the same "extra," should be available to private school children too. This is similar to the issue of access to ballfields to all children of the community when they are not otherwise in use. My tax dollars pay for the upkeep of the fields (as well they should) so why shouldn't my school-age children have (secondary) access to the fields when they are not being used by public school children? I have not abrogated any claim to access simply by choosing to send my children to a private school. If my position somehow makes people "furious" and turns them into "borderline anti-semites" as you suggest, that is their problem, not mine. I understand that many will disagree with my position -- that is their right, but I won't abandon it out of fear that my position will somehow turn otherwise reasonable and unprejudiced people into "furious ... borderline anti-semites." If someone thinks I, and all my co-religionists are "dirt," I doubt this issue had much to do with that dirt-designation.

12:18 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

12:18, your kids' youth groups do have access, for free, to the ballfields upon making the proper application. Only adult groups are required to pay a facilities fee. When we are not working with accurate facts, it is easy to devolve into anger and resentment. Drop by the District Clerk and pick up an application, and then spread the word.

12:27 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

If the public schools are in such disarray from a lack of funds, no one should have the extra of pre-K busing. Why grant it to one sector in a discriminatory way? It's not a right of any parent to expect pre-K busing, private or public school. I think this district has an exaggerated idea of the rights of parents for many services that in other districts either don't exist or are considerably limited.

12:28 PM  
Anonymous Observer said...

Anon 12:27 -- That was my point exactly. There had been a rather long and drawn out battle over just such field usage (with much nasty back and forth on this site). There was a very vocal contingent arguing against such free usage. Sunday field usage was an a "extra" I (and many others) felt was ripe for equal access. Now that there is such access (relatively equal as private school children are kept of the better manicured field at LHS because it is used by the Varsity [and JV] teams[s] -- which seems quite fair and reasonable), I think the community as a whole is better off for it, and I for one am appreciative.

12:55 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

This is such a mess. And there is soooo much confusion. Can someone PLEASE...in an even and moderate tone...explain what exactly went down here and why, if there really was an issue from a legal standpoint, did this first get announced yesterday afternoon?
Thanks.

1:41 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

OM...I elect you. Can you please explain to all what you beleive the issues here are and if you think they will be resolved?

1:42 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I choose to elect someone who is not always on one side, and not always on the side of Orthodox Jews/Private schools, etc.

I don't want to hear from someone who is living in the 5 Towns and who seems to be constantly at odds with secular neighbors.

1:51 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

What exactly is considered Inwood? What are the boundaries as you see it or as it is laid out.
Thanks.

2:06 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

1) The Commissioner sustained a taxpayer grievance that was filed in April. The Decision, dated August 31, states that the District has no legal authority to offer district-funded busses to private pre-k programs. However, the decision states that the district does have the authority to offer a district-funded bus to the universal pre-k program at Number Four School because the statute creating that program allows for transportation. So the Commissioner wrote that the district must refrain from offering busses except to the Universal Pre-K program. Will the District abide by that ruling? Will they appeal and get a judge to say the Commissioner is wrong? Time will tell. Why did it first get announced yesterday afternoon? Ask the school board.

2:06 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

It got announced yesterday because the Commissioner dragged his feet for 2 months, issued the decision on Friday and then dropped in the mail. No mail on Sunday or Labor Day, so BINGO - the decision arrived on Tuesday.

Better question is why the Commissioner dragged his feet on this decision until the last possible moment.

2:36 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

exactly, if the grievance was filed in April, why did it take 4 months for something to come out ofit?

2:42 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

We had pre-k bussing in this district from 2000 until 2003. Was it legal then? Was it illegal then, but nobody did anything because the board was not orthodox? Is this sour grapes? Is it a good precedent to turn to the courts when dissatisfied with elections?

4:10 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

In 2000, pre-k busses were available to any school you picked. Now, just 8 yeshivas get the benefit, so naturally people were upset and looked at the law and filed a grievance. By the way, they did not "turn to the courts" - but the education department. Now the school board is going to "turn to the courts" and waste more money trying to convince a judge that the Commissioner is wrong. This has nothing to do with orthodox or sour grapes, just plain old-fashioned waste of public funds on illegal programs that should be challenged and stopped.

4:33 PM  
Blogger Yeshaya said...

Can someone post the full text of the comissioner's decision or at least a link to the full text of the decision.

5:02 PM  
Blogger Yeshaya said...

BIZ OPP ... who wants to pick up and drop off private school kids to and from school. There are a lot of people looking for a quick solution.

5:04 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

When was the 8 schools law applied I thought it was for all pre k and when I looked at the lawrence public school website it didn't say only those who attend (the 8 yeshivas) can apply. Can someone clear this up

5:11 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I don't understand where everyone is getting this 8 yeshivos restriction either. The proposition stated:

Transportation to non-public pre-kindergarten program shall be limited to such programs that provide services to a minimum of twenty-five (25) kindergarten and pre-kindergarten children, not less that five (5) of which are Lawrence School District residents, and children must be four (4) years of age on or before December 1 to be eligible for transportation.


That seems pretty inclusive to me.

5:25 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

This "8 yeshiva" spin sounds like the one that Pam Greenbaum started a few months ago. (It didn't get much traction then either)

In order to keep the busing costs from skyrocketing out of control, the board set parameters that would insure that buses would not be mobilized to transport only 1 or only a few pre-k kids to any given pre-k program.

So now we have the Pam Greenbaums complaining that the overall costs are too high, and at the same time complaining that there were reasonable limitations on the busing qualifications (so that costs wouldn't skyrocket for just a few kids) and at the same time complaining that the kids are unsafe without matrons while at the same time complaining that matrons cost too much.

Make sense? Not to me.

5:27 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

only 8 schools met the eligibility requirements (25 students, 5 from lawrence, no more than 7.5 miles away) this year and they were all yeshivas. check with the transportation office. LWA, LB Catholic, etc etc were not on the list. Make sense? Not to me.

5:45 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

how many SD15 children did each of those schools have? less than 5?

5:50 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Mr, Kopilow at last nights meeting voted against appealing the Commissioners decision. I guess he was happy to disallow all private busing. The thought must be we can spend 2.8 million on public pre K ( of course we get 600 thousand in grants) but not one penny to the private/yeshiva community for busing. Well I have an idea, maybe everyone should register for public preK. Would the grant be raised or would we have to commit more public funds for preK? An interesting question

7:06 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Why do you people drag and drop Pam Greenbaum's name into everything Whats right is right and whats wrong is wrong. This Prek busing is wrong and costly.
I drop off and pick up my kids for 5 years now and I also work and I also don't moan and moan and moan and yes I do have to drag the other kids out in bad weather and when they are sick and I don't moan and moan and moan
But I do moan about the stomach turning attitudes of the current sitting board members. We fight for the rights of our public school children some of us don't have the choice of private schools
and anyone who agrees with the public school voice is tied in with Alps or Pam Greenbaum GIVE IT UP!! unlike groups of people who listen to thier leaders for thier own opinions we do have minds and voices of our own.

7:27 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

It's also wrong to claim that you support pre-k bussing BUT you can't accept the fact that such young kids won't have matrons and the fact that they may be placed on buses with 1st-4th graders and the fact that they may have to be on the bus for 45 minutes. It's simply BS. The same BS that was initially voiced by none other than Pam Greenbaum. So why not give her the proper credit?

7:35 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

anon 7:27- I agree with you re preK busing. It is unnecessary for a district with so many other places to direct their funds. However, it isn't right to award it to public school and not private school. Nobody should spend public funds on pre-k busing; if you send your kids to pre-k, you should make your own arrangements. (btw, I am a private school parent)

7:39 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Well I have an idea, maybe everyone should register for public preK. Would the grant be raised or would we have to commit more public funds for preK? An interesting question


First I am a public school parent and I think this whole mess is sad. First why did are lawyer not know the "law" whatever it may be. Also why did they not inform the public that the commisioner was reviewing the appeal, they had to submit a response? Is he that cocky? This busing was no bargain for all the yeshiva's some kids were on the bus with 4th graders, etc, so why was so much money needed? If independent is that much money there is a big problem. I think everyone should enroll in the free pre-k, why not. Let us put blame where it belongs.

7:43 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

no pre - k kids are on buses with fourth graders. its just pre - k and kindergarten on their own little bus.

8:06 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

This is just the beginning. NYS has sent a clear message to this school board. Everything they do is under a microscope. The Nassau County District Attorneys office is currently looking into improprieties. This is about the constitutional right to a free and public education. They can’t hide in the lurches forever.

8:14 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

8:14 PM

I would be very careful with this type of scrutiny. The Board can follow this precedent and do away with anything not specifically stated by law.

8:43 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

the federalis are coming tomorrow with the naacp

8:51 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

"The Board can follow this precedent and do away with anything not specifically stated by law", in who's best interest?

8:52 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

8:52 PM

doesn't matter its not law - thats the new precedent. Refund surplus to the taxpayers....

9:00 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

no pre - k kids are on buses with fourth graders. its just pre - k and kindergarten on their own little bus.

Wrong, South Shore Yeshiva all boys were on the same bus.

9:05 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

probably only in the morning

9:15 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

The Lawrence transportation office was well aware of the fact that it is ILLEGAL to transport before the first day of public school. They defiantly transported to 12 schools anyway. How is that able to happen, and their neighbors in Hewlett followed Lawrence - if it were catholic schools looking for transport, the answer would be NO

9:38 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

For all of you who think you know what your talking about, Pre K busing that is supplied to #4 is for lower income families and is paid for by a grant. NOT ONE Pre K student is transported at cost to the district. It is sooo easy to make it sound wrong, when its not. And the fact remains that there are more than 8 yeshivas requesting Pre K transport and all of sudden they are popping up in houses that were never before schools. Oh rite I guess thats so you don't pay taxes!! call it a temple or house of worship,

9:46 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I would like to know how an orthodox community, for instance New City or Munsey would react if there neighborhood schools were controlled by Public School Families???...Oh wait....sorry....that would NEVER happen!

9:51 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Today was the first day of busing for all district Yeshivas.

9:59 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Anonymous said...

For all of you who think you know what your talking about, Pre K busing that is supplied to #4 is for lower income families and is paid for by a grant. NOT ONE Pre K student is transported at cost to the district.


That's a flat out lie which has been disproven a hundred times. The district picks up the tab for the students who are not covered by the pre-k trabsportation grant. Not every student is covered by the grant. Period. That has been reported in numerous news sources as FACT.

10:01 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Anonymous said...

I would like to know how an orthodox community, for instance New City or Munsey would react if there neighborhood schools were controlled by Public School Families???...Oh wait....sorry....that would NEVER happen!


Uh, right. That's because unlike the fact that we pay the same taxes as you in the district, you don't pay any taxes towards the private schools our kids attend. Hence we get to vote as a mater of democracy.

10:03 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

nd the fact remains that there are more than 8 yeshivas requesting Pre K transport and all of sudden they are popping up in houses that were never before schools. Oh rite I guess thats so you don't pay taxes!! call it a temple or house of worship,

what in the world are you even talking about, I wonder?

10:04 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

That's a flat out lie which has been disproven a hundred times. The district picks up the tab for the students who are not covered by the pre-k trabsportation grant. Not every student is covered by the grant. Period. That has been reported in numerous news sources as FACT.

I would really like to see the budget charges. I have never seen actual facts.

10:10 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I would like to know just how all of you hate mongers even know about this site and why you even bother writing on it. You have nothing constructive to say and all the negativity is giving me a headache. This month is the month of judgement by G-d. Think long and hard before you judge other people ... I am sure that you want to be judged favorably this year ... try to tolerate everyone because G-d brought one holocaust and he can always bring another and when/if he does ... the enemy does not distinguish between religious and non-religious ... they persecute all Jews alike. SO STOP THE MADNESS and GROW UP ... you are ALL acting less mature than the 4 year olds that you are discussing!! You should be shamed of yourselves!!!

10:25 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

My four year old was to get bussing now she is not.
Hassle yes, untenable -NO
I never expected ir so I am not dissapointed that I lost it.
Frankly if it is causing such a fight
I DO NO WANT IT!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

P.S.
to the one who said

I would like to know how an orthodox community, for instance New City or Munsey would react if there neighborhood schools were controlled by Public School Families???...Oh wait....sorry....that would NEVER happen!

Uh it does happen. Most orthodox people live in communities where they do not control the board.

I really would love to give up all bussing etc give full control to public school parents and have NOTHING to do with the public schools...icluding paying for them.
Until then.. no taxation without representation

10:41 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

district 15 tax dollars DO NOT PAY FOR #4 PRE K BUSING

THATS A FACT!!!!!

11:00 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I am a public school parent and I do not approve of the hate and nastiness going on . Comments on this and other Blogs are just over the top. No one addresses the issues, and no one puts the children first. Please don't lump me with the others.

11:03 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

On 9/4/07 10+ yeshivas received transportation from the Lawrence and Hewlett school districts. Are these School Boards aware that it is a direct violation of NYS Ed Law. Transporting to Pre K for District 15 may have been district funded years ago, but those who do receive busing now are done so by grants. That shouldn't be so hard to understand. I think the board of ed in district 15 have acted inappropriately. They got a little cocky too fast and did not really do enough research on the issue. They acted like 4 yr olds trying to prove they can do what ever they want

11:06 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

district 15 tax dollars DO NOT PAY FOR #4 PRE K BUSING

THATS A FACT!!!!!


No it isn't. That's what was falsely disseminated at the start of the 2006-2007 school year. Unfortunately, it came out that there were pre-k students who did not qualify for the grant and were bused anyhow, at district expense. That's actually what got us into this whole mess to begin with. The private school community was upset that the former pre-k busing service that had been taken away for austerity was restored to the public school pre-k but not private school pre-k.

11:07 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Anonymous said...

On 9/4/07 10+ yeshivas received transportation from the Lawrence and Hewlett school districts.


I was told that busing was originally scheduled for that day and then subsequently withdrawn. I know that I had to scramble for a carpool for my son yesterday.

11:08 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Transporting to Pre K for District 15 may have been district funded years ago, but those who do receive busing now are done so by grants.


SOME of those who receive busing now are done so by grants. Not all.

11:09 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

SOME of those who receive busing now are done so by grants. Not all

We receive $617,000 from the state for pre-k. I would really like the super and the board to do a presentation to show line item of twhat the true costs are. This is counterproductive.

11:32 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

again, we find the anti-ortho trying to take away the rights we are entitled to from our tax dollars. the fact that we do not enroll ourf children in the public schools we are entitled to is not a reason to decrease the rights we recieve, if anything we should get MORE rights to make up for not attending the pub. schools

2:05 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Unlike 2006-2007, the state Universal Pre-K program, with transportation for 2007-2008 is covered by a state grant for public schools. 2006-2007 was a grant for those who were low income.

The lawyers for the school district did in fact notify the board of the illegalities, but the board wished to do otherwise. So don't blame the lawyers, blame the board. The majority ruled.

The board would have to appeal to the Commissioner first. If the appeal is denied, the board can go into the courts, but no court will overrule the Commissioner's decision.

So now the school board will line the pockets of the district lawyers, ordering appeals and court cases, and our tax dollars will be diverted from needs of the district to a fight that will not be won.

This is a sad day for all the children in the community, public and private.

7:16 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

First a disclosure

I am a yeshiva parent who was adamantly opposed to preK bussing at the time of the vote. Not that I don't think we should bus 4 year olds - camps have been doing it safely for years (in fact I once sent a 2 year old to Simcha Day camp on the bus every day).

But at election time there needed to be some good will built between the board and the public school parents. The first item on the agenda should not have been an extra perk. It should first be to fix the schools and put programs in place to shore up achievement. If the public school parents see that their needs are being addressed, then and only then is it time to add in items that are over the state mandates. But no one cares what I think and they went ahead and steam rollered in the preK bussing. So someone reported them. If the public school parents were happy with the services the board is giving them no one would have reported them to the state. Now it is a war and it is a stupid and unnecessary one at that.

My first order of business would be to release the approx $30 million to be used mostly for capital improvements. I don't think every homeowner getting an extra $200 or whatever will notice it, but the schools will.

If this is done, the public school parents will at least see that there is some consideration for them. The school board is in charge of making sure the schools are run properly in all aspects. That has to be first. The bussing/books/special ed for private schools gets rolled into that, but that is it for now. Once we have top notch schools, or at least see ourselves moving in a positive direction, then we can look for creative ways to supply the private school population with some extras as well.

We live in a community full of bright people. Surely we can figure a way out of this war peacefully. No one is benefiting - certainly none of the children. One of the defining characteristics of our nation is supposed to be kindness. I think it is time we started acting with kindness to our neighbors - and you'll be pleasantly surprised to see they will act kindly to you in return.

8:48 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

8:48am
THANK YOU, THANK YOU THANK YOU!!!!

9:29 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I completely, wholeheartedly agree with 8:48. I am a private school parent and the bussing was just a perk. however, my problem is that once it was given you can't take it away two days before school starts. You can't make parents scramble like that. If the petition came out in April, what happened to the 4 months in between that parents could have been told and made alternate arrangements. The 11th hour change is where the problem lies.

9:44 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I have a question for the public school parents...and I REALLY do not want this to sound malicous.

I keep hearing that as private school parents we do not have a right to complain about things because we make a choice to send to private school. however, if even half of the private school children switched to public schools our school taxes would triple. Now in a family with at least 2 children, private school parents would not be affected since we pay at least 10,000 per child. however public school families would be hit with a huge tax increase.

I think public school parents should stop making that argument because by sending our kids to private school we are saving them money. Can we at least get back part of what we pay in taxes? Can at least part of those taxes we pay go to our own children?

9:50 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

9:50 -

You're missing a large part of the concern by the vocal public school parents. What really bothers the vocal public school parents is not so much the money or services that we tend to quibble over, but it's the fact that the demographics in the public schools have shifted so dramatically that the former majority in the public schools is now the minority. The perceived impact of this is far greater than the impact of any funds that may be diverted to "special interests" (as they like to call private school students). The composition of the student population that many public school parents grew up with and took for granted no longer exists. This clearly has some impact on the academic performance of their children, the quality of education and the social opportunities that their kids are availed of. As a result of the changing demographics in the community and the public schools, these parents have been made to feel like they are slowly being forced out of their school system, community, etc. The upshot is that they would welcome the influx of orthodox students in the public schools despite the increase tax burden, because it would reverse the demographic shift and restore the demographic composition that they were comfortable with.

10:41 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

To Anonymous at 10:41 -

I think that what public school parents want most of all is a community that supports the public schools, believes that the public schools are the concern of the entire community and that the entire community benefits by supporting public schools. At any one time, most taxpayers do not have children in public schools - their children are too young or are now adults, or they may never had children. But the common understanding in this country has been that everyone supports and gains from public schools.

10:48 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

10:41 is on the money. I have heard this sentiment conveyed to me by more than a few public school parents. It really is the unspoken root of the school board conflict. Of course, you will never hear this taboo issue discussed much in public.

10:50 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

9:50
"Can we at least get part of what we pay in taxes, can at least part
of the taxes we pay go back to our own children"?
Only when the Federal government of the United States says so. Do you think that Lawrence School District is in charge of the tax roles for Nassau County, or N.Y. State.
Have you ever see the sign in a store "we don't charge sale tax, we only collect it?"
If half of the private school students were to come to public school,yes taxes could go up, the off set cost of bussing, special ed services, would help with the tax rolls. We all knew how much the taxes were when we moved here, and, yes, every year the taxes go up, just like the price of gas,& milk.
However we the sale of the #1 building, I think we would have to buy it back. NO, I am not trying to be funny or mean.
The private school parents are being told that all the public school buildings are only half full. Not true.
I have no idea where or how the public school students will fit if 2 schools are closed.
The private school parents are not being informed about all the special ed students in the district. They need classrooms, real classrooms, not closets, or an office converted into a classroom.
In the # 6 school, when the #1 school closed, the music room was
cut in half, a wall put up, and now two classrooms were made for special ed students. The district made due with what they had. The #6 teachers lunchroom was converted into a classroom -again for special ed. The special ed service providers need rooms, for OT, PT, Speech. Most students are given services in groups of 3-5 students.
Stand in the middle school hallways when classrooms are changing, the building was built when people were not as tall or wide. Have any of the private school parents looked at the middle school football team players the past few years?? Everyone needs personal space to walk down a hall way.

11:30 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Hi it 10 41
Ofcourse I want the public schools to be good and I am willing to pay for it IF my I am allowed to voice my opinion through a vote AND my involvement is not resented. If it causes fights I will gladly give up my vote and my taxes.

This whole "private school parents shouldn't be involved" thought proccess is really un-American. If you want taxation you must give representation.

11:35 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

"But at election time there needed to be some good will built between the board and the public school parents. The first item on the agenda should not have been an extra perk. It should first be to fix the schools and put programs in place to shore up achievement. If the public school parents see that their needs are being addressed, then and only then is it time to add in items that are over the state mandates. "


In a vacuum, you would have been totally correct. It is inappropriate to bully your way in to a system, for your own personal gains.
However, there are years of history before the 2007 elections, and bussing referendum. For most of the years, private school parents didn't get involved in district politics. They voted, or didn't, and paid their taxes quietly.
But when there would be issues about transportation, building usage, special ed services and so on, the PUBLIC SCHOOL boards routinely denied as much as they could to private school students, even when it was legal and there was money, to provide more.
THAT was the time to build bridges. Had they "thrown a bone" to the private school community, none of this would have happened. But they dug their heels in, and the only way for the Private voices to be heard, was to run for office, and have a vote on the board.

11:56 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Public School boards donot decide (oh are not suppose to) decide special ed services. There are guide lines set by the state of N.Y. and mandates from the federal government.
An example, a parent wants services for their child, a one on one aid, the child is evaluated, the scores show that there is no disability. The parent doesn't care what is said, she wants what she wants. All well and good, I want a 3 million dollar loan, I am only allowed a 1 million dollar loan. You are only allowed what the law states you are allowed.
Scream, rant, rage, the law is the law. Above student was made up neither private or public student.
One student's parent wanted a school district to pay for a one on one aid for her child. the school district agreed to pay only half a day for an aid, the second half was religious studies. I could not understand how I tried why only half a day- a need must be there -in order to get an aid at all. A safety issue is at stake with a one on one aid (most of the time) turns out the student is BLIND. The parents feel a religious education is the most important thing for this child. Me, the Helen Keller School for the Blind, should have been frist choice, let the child learn how to work with the disability he/she has, the child can still learn Torah.

12:24 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

But when there would be issues about transportation, building usage, special ed services and so on, the PUBLIC SCHOOL boards routinely denied as much as they could to private school students, even when it was legal and there was money, to provide more.


While I have do sympathize with the excessive tuition you pay along with taxes, as a parent of a special ed public school child I need to clarify a few things. I do not know where someone came up with the idea that public school kids get all the services they want. Yes more kids might qualify, but they usually are children who are not reading or writing. Many of my friends have had to fight for an evalutation only to be told sorry you don't qualify. It took threats of a lawsuit to get my child the one service he needed. His occupational therapy scores were at the 1% and I still only got one day. His other scores were fine. As a cse parent, I have sat in both public and private meetings, and have fought for parents on both sides. But, I found that there were far more private evaluations than public. Yes, there were kids who did qualify. Some children did have scores that were in the 25%, but honestly, the same as we are told this does not qualify. There are one or two private schools that refer at the drop of the hat. The public schools children get approved more, because, by the time the child get evaluated, they already have had state mandated academic assistance, and ersa extra help, which is a building level service everyone is entitled to. My suggest would be to tell you school that you want to follow state education mandates, follow New York ciricullum, and then your children will be eligble for the same services by the district your school is in. Honestly, Lawrence is pretty good. As the year progresses with the new Special Ed laws, unfortunately you will see how good we are. As far as transportation my son turned 4 in October and I did not get transportation to Pre-K. Also, back when they did bus, they bused to every pre-k in the 15 mile radius. Free building usage will not happen. ALl our civic organizations with kids pay, little league, baseball, etc. Girl Scouts, If you want maybe all kids groups not affiliated with private schools, like girl scouts, youth groups etc, should get free building use. Otherwise, why should i get to use any shul in my districts party room free of charge. I pay taxes, it is non for profit? or I want to ride the bus for free, I pay taxes....

1:32 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Non-profit and public are not the same thing. Non-profit means that nobody makes money off it i.e. that whatever the institution makes goes right back into the institution. Shuls are non-profit, but they are not public and are not supported by taxpayer money. This analogy is, therefore, inaccurate.

The bus has to be paid for either by taxes or by fares. The government has chosen fares. However, these fares are charged to everybody. Nobody rides for free and nobody is forced to pay while being denied access. This analogy, therefore, is also inaccurate.

2:04 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

"Had they "thrown a bone" to the private school community, none of this would have happened."

guess what 11:56 am, the "bones" as you so tastlessly put it were "thrown" ... the district 15 private school children with special needs no longer have to come to district public schools for services, therapists come to them at their home private school. do your research before you speak; look at the surrounding school districts and then make your comparisons. look at the bussing in neighboring school districts and compare - lawrence is far more liberal than most. did you know that there is no bussing in the village of lynbrook?
i personally would not care who is elected to serve as a school board member as long as they take the responsibility of the public school population seriously. the majority of the sitting board has shown the community that they could care less about their charge. they have shown a continued lack of respect for the community they are supposed to educate to the best of their ability.

2:43 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

If public schools had an increase in enrollment from private schools, taxes would not triple. The state PAYS the district based on attendance as well.

If our teachers are teaching with 12 and 15 students per class, they can absorb the increase in students.

As older teachers on the highest retirement tier retire, the newer teachers are coming in with lower salaries and have to contribute to the retirement system. So, the expenses of teachers should decrease, or at least stay the same if there is an increase in 10 to 20% of students.

Public school parents are, for the most part, inclusionary. We have seen an increase in special education children from the private school community, but not every evaluation warrants placement. However, placement of private school children are on the increase anyway.

As far as free access to fields, community groups who are not discriminatory or exclusionary should have access. Anyone is invited to join little leagues, girl scouts, etc., but when you are talking about shul sponsored little leagues, that is exclusionary and discriminatory. Read the district's policies regarding use of facilities and use that as a guideline as to whether special interests can use the fields. I doubt it.

2:44 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

2:43 PM: I agree wholeheartedly. People complain too much about what the district DOESN'T do, rather than to applaude what the district DOES DO.

Hewlett-Woodmere isn't as liberal and you don't see families flocking there for just that reason. Those who did, learned quickly and sold their homes to come to the Lawrence School District.

One family I spoke to specifically moved out of Bayswater into Cedarhurst because their transportation costs were very high for their 5 children, so, between their taxes and transportation costs, they pay the same they do now in Cedarhurst and like being able to walk around in a nicer neighborhood with better community services.

2:49 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Any truth to the rumor that a court has stayed the commissioner's decision and busing will commence on Monday?

5:34 PM  
Blogger Yeshaya said...

I have heard that it is true... The school board's attorneys petitioned the court and were granted a "stay" of the pre-k bussing decision today, so the District is now authorized to provide pre-k bussing to children in private school (probably until the District has an opportunity for a formal appeal).

Bussing will be provided (to all 4-year old children who were registered for pre-k bussing) beginning this Monday.

5:43 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

all true

5:43 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I am a private school parent. If it is true that they current Board has not put the district's public schools as their main priority then shame on them. As far as the pre-K transportation issue if it weren't legal then it should have been brought to light months ago. The Commish issuing the order days before the start of the school year further inflames the unnecessary fighting. I want the public school to be the best that it can be with both state mandated and extra services and in turn I expect higher test scores for my tax dollar. However, if ALPS or any such groups are going to play games with the relatively small portion of the budget that benefits the private school parent/student then I would do the same with ALL non mandated services and benefits that the public schooler enjoys. The children who attend public school have a lot more to lose and that would be a shame. NO ONE WANTS THAT! However, private school parents are tired of being maligned and getting less than we are entitled to - which would (should) not hurt the public schools one bit. If I am naive - so be it.

6:31 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

basic education supplied by a public school should not be viewed as an extra benefit. there are some in this community that take this view. to 6:31 pm - the only ones who can approve the spending of your tax dollars is the sitting board of education. no political groups, no small groups, no one.

6:39 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Excellent job by the Board of Lawrence School District for appealing the Commissioner Richard P. Mills, decision to stop Pre K Busing for the private schools in the district. Thank you to the lawyers for the district who worked hard and had this ruling reversed and allow all pre k children who are age 4 to be able to get bussing. The children and the parents of Lawrence school district are pleased that we have great officers who are looking out for all our interests. Keep up the good work!!!!

9:33 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

You're missing a large part of the concern by the vocal public school parents. What really bothers the vocal public school parents is not so much the money or services that we tend to quibble over, but it's the fact that the demographics in the public schools have shifted so dramatically that the former majority in the public schools is now the minority. The perceived impact of this is far greater than the impact of any funds that may be diverted to "special interests" (as they like to call private school students). The composition of the student population that many public school parents grew up with and took for granted no longer exists. This clearly has some impact on the academic performance of their children, the quality of education and the social opportunities that their kids are availed of. As a result of the changing demographics in the community and the public schools, these parents have been made to feel like they are slowly being forced out of their school system, community, etc. The upshot is that they would welcome the influx of orthodox students in the public schools despite the increase tax burden, because it would reverse the demographic shift and restore the demographic composition that they were comfortable with.

I certainly can understand this but this is the nature of gentrification. People age, sell and move out. Others decide they could get a "bundle" on their property and can really live anywhere so they make a quick sale at top dollar and move as well. As the neighborhood start to change, others decide they don't like the "new neighbors" so they sell and move too. You can't force people to stay in one place and you can't stop others from moving in. That's just the nature of things. LIfe keeps moving in cycles and nothing stays at status quo. You have to learn to adjust to the changes and not fight so hard to keep things as they were because what was right 20 years ago might not be right for now.

We can't create more public school clientele to satisfy the needs of those who want to keep the numbers up. You can't keep your neighbors from selling their homes to religious Jews who will send their kids to private religious schools. So the balance is changing and there is nothing you can do about that. However, there is something you can do about maintaining the high standards of quality education for ALL children in the community and that is to care as much about our children as you want us to care about yours. We have no problem working with you to raise your children's grade levels or aptitude levels. We are more than happy to have an excellent public schools system, the best in the county. We take pride in that, we take pride in all our neighbors.

We are not looking to force you out, we know you were here first. We are not looking to snub you, nor to see your children fail. We want to see them succeed, it is to everyones benefit to have fine upstanding young adults living throughout the entire Five Towns Commununity. This has always been an upstanding and upscale community and we have no intention of letting that standard slip.

So why do we always have to be watching our backs? Why do we have to feel like we are playing in a sandbox and someone is about to throw a handful of sand in our faces? Can't we all just give it up already and work together for the benefit of ALL the children? Pulling this stunt a day before school started was such a low, slimy, schemy, tricky, underhanded move. It feels like we are living a stupid pre-teen movie where such schemes and tricks are worked on by a bunch of childish, immature losers.

9:38 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

"Pulling this stunt a day before school started was such a low, slimy, schemy, tricky, underhanded move."

That's when the decision from Albany came down; the grivance was made in April (and the smae arguments were made back in a grievance filed in December on this, as well). Casting the Commissioner's timing as something "vocal public school parents" conspired to do to the yeshiva parents is just wrong.

10:02 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I'm sure Commissioner Mill's decision was not timed purposely. He had prostate cancer and had undergone treatment - and had an Assistant Commissioner handling decisions, who wasn't as capable as he is, causing delays. So Commissioner Mills came back and began going through the backlog. He originally intended to stay out one year for treatment and sabbatical.

10:37 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

April (and the smae arguments were made back in a grievance filed in December on this

And the vote was not put up. The district had to know this would happen. Yes I am sure Mills being sick was the reason it was faxed on the day before school. Problem is the decision was typed 8/31, they could have faxed it then. The state told all the parents that complained they would help give it time. They needed the right moment. Tada.......

11:32 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I was one of the petitioners and I can tell you that I did not receive any information regarding the decision beforehand, nor was I told that "they would help, give it time." I was in the dark until the information was disseminated by Orthomom, which makes me wonder why she gets the 411 as spontaneously as the Board members do.

Also for the record, please bone up on your "its" v. "it's" usage. This applies to both public and private school parents! If you are using "it’s"--it's because you mean "it is." "It's" is a contraction. OK?! Use "its" when you are referring to a possession, such as in the following sentence: "The law firm that represents the School Board is the only entity making money off of the contentions among the school board, private school and the public school parents; therefore, perhaps the firm should donate some of "its" fees back to the school district."

It's better when it's is used in its proper manner!

OK--back to our regularly scheduled program of hate and rhetoric.

1:03 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Non-profit and public are not the same thing. Non-profit means that nobody makes money off it i.e. that whatever the institution makes goes right back into the institution. Shuls are non-profit, but they are not public and are not supported by taxpayer money. This analogy is, therefore, inaccurate Shuls are non-profit, but they are not public and are not supported by taxpayer money

Actually, since people receive salaries from a Shul, then people are making money from it. What you mean is that no profits are being distributed to stockholders or invested persons and those monies would therefore be reinvested into the facilities. Regardless, they are however tax exempt and therefore do not pay Local, State or Federal taxes on their property. As this is the case, the mere existence of this property as a religious institution and not a home or business is shorting this community by a minimum of $10,000 in taxes if it was only the size of a standard house and we all know that there are at least 50 different places of worship or religious education within the 5 towns (and we all know that a great many of them are no where near the size of a single family house so don’t argue that it would only be about $500K in taxes missing). Now before you say it, yes any Churches in the community would be doing the same thing but there are no where near as many Churches. That is a huge tax base which is being missed out on and both Public School and Private School homeowners are expected to cover this ever growing tax shortfall. Now since I don’t use any of these religious institutions, does that mean that I should get a break on my taxes? Now, by your standards, if your argument was that their analogy was incorrect, where does your opinion fall on this one?

11:02 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Pulling this stunt a day before school started was such a low, slimy, schemy, tricky, underhanded move. It feels like we are living a stupid pre-teen movie where such schemes and tricks are worked on by a bunch of childish, immature losers.

Since you obviously don’t realize it by the tone of this statement, The NYS Education Department ruled on the busing and chose to do it at this time. These petitions were filed with them months ago (April I believe) and this was the timing involved, do you really think anyone in the Public School community could have purposely planned this timing? If you have a problem with this, feel free to get in touch with them, but then again, if this referendum wasn’t illegal in the first place, then the petition would have simply been dismissed. So before you begin calling people “ a bunch of childish, immature losers”, try looking at your democratically elected board and realize that description fit them perfectly when they decided to appeal the decision even though the district attorneys told them that their appeal had no merit. I guess since they weren’t footing the legal bill and all they had to do was pay even more to our overpaid district law firm (which, I might add either neglected to inform them that the referendum was illegal in the first place or the Board simply ignored the information it in their arrogance), then paying more money to a losing cause was just fine.

11:07 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

9:38pm
Boy you had me and I agreed up to the losers and immature bunch etc.
YOu feel you have to watch your back??
You actually think, feel, KNOW in your heart that the public school parents had this planned?
Sorry to say no matter how low you think we would stoop, not even we, the public school parents would've pulled this on private school parents.
Oh there were whistles and cheers at the timing, but to say we would sit down and actually plan to hurt other mothers and fathers that way is really, really
hurtful.
Many say that if they could they would have planned it this way, ALL talk,
we actually live by the decree do on to others, as you would want others to do on to you.
So thanks for thinking and printing your true feelings on the public school parents.
No matter what you wrote prior to this statement, it is out the window.
You are so willing to work with the public school parents.. ahh so nice of you to "work" with us.
Sorry to tell you but the "LAW" is working with us.
There is something called seperation of church and state.
Remember the United States of America. That little piece of paper written 200 years ago??

The public school bd.'s frist job is just that- the public schools.

Then when the public schools and public school students needs are taken care of we then can look- yes look- to see what can be done to help the private schools.
The private schools get many services from this district already.
NOT because of this bd. (or even the last bd.) than many other districts across L.I.
Don't start over the taxes you pay, the private schools services are part of the budget too. as well as all the special ed students in district, regardless of where they attend.
So I don't mean to be "mean" but how about
this year when everyone walks down to the water to throw away your sins, you throw away your predetermined mind set on the public school parents. Or if the chicken is your choice again throw away the mind set and start anew for all our sake. Otherwise all the sins have not been thrown away.
A heavy heart is no way to start the new year off with.

9:11 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Orthomom is not a mom at all....she is a man!...........a man well known...the cat has been let out of the box:)

5:53 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

You couldn't tell sometimes it's a man, somtimes a women?
Just by the writing I could tell, and I have only found this blog a few months ago.
What difference does it really make? We get to complain, agree, find out things that could have taken weeks, so regardless I'm glad orthomom is here,
I just LOVE to HATE her:):):)

11:12 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I'm not sure I understand, who from the state told parents "just give it time" in regard to help with the busing situation? how would a parent get to speak with the state? If this was filed in April why wouldn't Mills stop the vote if it was illegal? Is he for districts wasting money? And how did you know the board's lawyers did not want to appeal this case? And how did you know that the nassau county District attorneys office is investigating? If this is true this must be done with the sanction of local politicos. where does all this information come from?

2:54 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

ref:2:54
state is not helping with the bussing situation, a complaint was made, public school parents read the law, and complained.
nor is just give it time,
means
give them enough rope and they will do the job themselves.

Mills didn't stop the vote, because it could have been voted down. You have to wait until all the paper work is in, you know our government, you do know OUR government, USA and all.
When you are a concerned citizen you attend public meetings, bd. meetings every two weeks all year long; or more often in the summer, those emergengcy bd. meetings every week, sometimes twice in a week. court is open to almost anyone.
"Is the district attorney office investigating"
or did you read something off a blog referring to the district attorney as in the School "District Attorney" of the School District 15???
See how easy it is to read something two ways.
I keep asking if nothing has occurred that is not on the up and up, than why won't the bd. members tell any of the public school parents where the money from the contest won by #6 students from Nickolodeon is?? what money? $5,000 won by the students from the "get out and PLAY" contest, to go to the playground of #6. It was won backin Jan-Feb.07.
$875,000 from a grant to help academics for the public school students. No one I have spoken to, has any idea where the grant money was used for.
I for one know that the #6 playground looks the same as last year.
Oh and just to point something else out "the district attorneys" are just that "the districts", not-not- "the" board's lawyers.

8:49 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

the money from the contest was spent on gym equipment. There was a limited time line on the funds.

8:34 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Don't any of you spoiled bitches work or do you just complain all day about the stupid BS with your busses. Bottom line, you don't work and are now complaining about having no busses to take your children to school. Get off your lazy behinds and drive them. I wouldn't even consider putting a 4 year old on a bus anyway. Gees. I bet you send them to all day daycamp or even sleep away. Get real.

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