Judge Moves Case Against East Ramapo School Officials Forward

U.S. District Judge Cathy Seibel approved a lawsuit against East Ramapo school officials Monday. Though she dismissed many claims that were brought against the district, Seibel is allowing a case to move forward, filed against the district by at least 400 parents, which accuses the board of taking tax money and giving it to private schools in the area. Laura Barbieri, a lawyer from Advocates for Change, the law firm representing the plaintiffs, stated that even though pieces of the case were dismissed, the board can still be held liable for their actions and can be ordered to put the money given to private schools back into the district. According to members of the district Orthodox and Hasidic men whose children attend private Yeshivas have controlled the board for some time. In 2012 Advocates for Justice filed a petition with State Education Commissioner John King, requesting that the Orthodox members be removed from the board, as well as the addition of a state official, who can monitor spending within the district. There are about 30,000 students living within the East Ramapo District and 21,000 of those children attend private schools.

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