RAMAPO CENTRAL SCHOOL BUSING ISSUE DRAWS 300

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BY CAROL MCILMURRAY

Tuesday night over 300 residents came to support Ramapo Central School District’s (RCSD) decision to limit funding for private school busing to one arrival time and one dismissal time.

The rural village of Hillburn, tucked between Sloatsburg and the New York State Thruway, had its small streets lined with cars on several blocks around the RSCD administration building.

During the public comment about five commenters from ultra orthodox parents with children in private school spoke about the need to continue multiple arrival and dismissal times for different schools.

“I, and I believe I speak for all members of the Jewish orthodox community when I say this, believe this is anti-Semitic,” said Bothi Roth.

That statement was met with loud verbal protest from the crowd. Tensions were high at several points through out the meeting.

Cathie Park, a mother of three in the RCSD, spoke at the end of public comment, “As a minority myself, I get very upset when people make things about race when they clearly aren’t.”

Many commenters pointed to high taxes and the tax cap as being a struggle for the public school system and expressed the need to keep as many dollars in the public school system as possible. Several commenters cited the change to be in accordance with NYS law and regulations.

John Canty, president of Ramapo Teachers Association, said he spoke with a lawyer and wants to take the issue to court to stop funding private school busing altogether.

Residents were asked by organizers to stay vigilant at Ramapo Central meetings over the coming months and years to help avoid the school board becoming similar to East Ramapo’s present situation.

“I’ve lived in the Ramapo Central School District for seventeen years, and I am proud of the work our school board has done. Our presence is to testify that support,” said Frank Tassone, a resident and former teacher assistant in the East Ramapo School District.

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