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Private Privilege, Public Pain

image of a classroom with stacked chairs on the wall
By: Johanna Miller Director, Education Policy Center, Education Policy Center

The East Ramapo Central School District in suburban Rockland County, 40 miles north of New York City, was once home to thriving and diverse public schools that attracted families from surrounding areas. Today, after more than a decade of local malfeasance and mismanagement, and state dereliction, it is a beleaguered and broken district. It has become an extreme example of systemic racism and educational inequity.

The district maintains a regime of 21st Century Jim Crow education designed to fail its students of color and deprive its public schools, while favoring its white majority and private education.

This report aims to document and contextualize the systemic racism that has ravaged the East Ramapo Central School District, to define state and local responsibility to the district’s students of color, and to identify overdue actions state officials should take to protect students and their futures. New York has the most segregated schools in the nation. Amidst a national reckoning with racism, New Yorkers are demanding state officials take on white supremacy in our institutions.

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