Spring Valley NAACP lawsuit against East Ramapo schools to go to trial
A federal judge in White Plains ruled Tuesday that she will not dismiss a lawsuit filed by the Spring Valley NAACP against the East Ramapo Central School District, setting up a trial in February.
The lawsuit alleges that the way the district's school board members are currently elected keeps African American and Latino residents off the board. According to the NAACP, minorities make up more than 90% of public school students.
Instead, the lawsuit says the school board favors members of the white, Hasidic population, which primarily sends its children to private schools or yeshivas.
An attorney for the New York Civil Liberties Union tells News 12 they are pleased by the decision to send the case to trial, saying in a statement, "We remain committed to ensuring that minority voters have an equal opportunity to participate in the political process and a fair chance to elect their candidates of choice in East Ramapo."
No members of the school board could be reached for comment. In a previous statement, East Ramapo School Board President Harry Grossman told the media that voting in the district has nothing to do with race.
“The real purpose of the lawsuit is to promote candidates whose tax, political and educational policies the plaintiffs prefer over those supported by the overwhelming majority of voters in the district, irrespective of race,” says Grossman.
The next school board election in East Ramapo will take place in May, where three members of the board will be chosen.