East Ramapo School Board uses ward-based voting system for 1st time to fill 9 open seats

Last spring, a federal judge ordered the district to get rid of its at-large voting method, which violated the Voting Rights Act – making it harder for minority candidates to get elected.

News 12 Staff

Feb 11, 2021, 2:00 AM

Updated 1,260 days ago

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Wednesday was the first time the East Ramapo School Board used a ward-based system to fill all nine open seats.
During a meeting Wednesday, the community met some of the new board members who ran unopposed.
Last spring, a federal judge ordered the district to get rid of its at-large voting method, which violated the Voting Rights Act – making it harder for minority candidates to get elected.
For a decade, white, Orthodox Jewish men have controlled the board seats, which have led to a system favoring private schools while damaging public schools by slashing budgets and laying off teachers.
People involved in fixing the educational system in East Ramapo hope to see major changes now that they have actual representation on the board.
“Now, the public-school parents in at least three districts are electing their own representatives to stand up and speak out for them and their kids," says Donna Lieberman, the executive director of the NYCLU.
People at the meeting are also calling on state Sen. Shelley Mayer, who chairs the state Education Committee, and demanding no federal COVID relief money goes to private schools in the district.


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