photo credit: Lauren Close
NY Times writer Peter Applebome recently penned an article about a private school/public school dispute that is reaching a boiling point in one area of N.Y.
In the Spring Valley area of NY, often considered a convergence of cultural diversity even by NY standards, residents are vehemently opposing the closure of a public school, especially when the people in charge of the vote have chosen to send their own children to the area’s Firm Schools.
…disputes along sensitive cultural fault lines that are playing out in several suburban communities. In fact, the East Ramapo school district here is going through the same drama as the district in Lawrence, on Long Island.
In both cases, the boards voted to close one of the local schools. In both cases, one reason given is declining enrollments because so many local families now send their children to yeshivas. In both cases, the decision was made by boards dominated by Orthodox Jews who are running the public schools but don’t send their own children to them.
Many of the Orthodox here and elsewhere feel crushed by the weight of high school taxes and private school tuition. Making sure the school district is fiscally prudent seems a necessity. Nathan Rothschild, the president of the East Ramapo board, said its record demonstrated a clear commitment to provide a quality education, not just to carefully manage costs.
It is an interesting article and it is quite clear that the author has his own opinion solidly on one side of the argument. It is also, however, an interesting slice of what the socio-political nature of education and opportunities are like at basic levels, and how a high quality public education should not be taken for granted.