Complaint Against State Education Department Dismissed

Federal judge Cathy Seibel dismissed a lawsuit on October 3rd that the East Ramapo School District filed against the state Education Department in March. The district requested to be allowed to continue placing children with disabilities in religious or private schools, asking the courts to explain their rights presented in the individuals with disabilities act. East Ramapo lawyers stated that often parents complain about their child’s placement within the district made by the committee on special education, resulting in most Orthodox Jewish and Hasidic students being placed within private Yiddish speaking institutions at the public’s expense. The lawyers stated that parents fight to have their children attend a school that accommodates their languages and cultural needs, and that the district is saving money by placing the students elsewhere, and avoiding law suits filed by these parents. This fall the East Ramapo School District added Yiddish and Spanish speaking special education programs, resulting in a temporary loss of state aid after citations from the state Education Department confirmed that these programs violated federal and state laws. Judge Seibel dismissed the complaint that the district filed against the state education board. The East Ramapo District has the option to appeal, but no comments have been made on a decision. The district is expecting that the costs of the new program will soon be worth it, as compared to the costs of sending students to outside programs.

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