26 responses to Amish, NY school board resolve busing dispute
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    Richard from Amish Stories
    Comment on Amish, NY school board resolve busing dispute (June 11th, 2012 at 07:19)

    I’m not that familiar with this case In New York, but I do see quite a bit of Amish children walking to and from school on the edge of some pretty busy roads. And I do find myself feeling a little nervous for those kids walking along side some pretty heavy traffic, so not all Amish children walk only on country roads like some folks my think. Richard

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      Richard from Amish Stories
      Comment on Sorry for the typo.........wanted to say "may" instead of "my" (June 11th, 2012 at 08:20)

      Sorry for the typo.........wanted to say "may" instead of "my"

      so not all Amish children walk only on country roads like some folks (my) (wanted to say “may” instead of “my” . It must have been a little too early for me this morning folks, enjoy the day. Richard

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    Alice Aber
    Comment on Amish, NY school board resolve busing dispute (June 11th, 2012 at 07:43)

    Greetings!

    Had a minute so thought I would pop on. This is an interesting story. I am happy they came to a good arrangement. I see no difference in providing a seperate bus for the Amish than the seperate bus my shcool district, when I was growing up, provided for those who were developmentally disabled. Sometimes a little more expence is needed for the safety and well being of the children, no matter who they are.

    If people in this world were more willing to make accomodations for others, it just might be a better place to live for everyone.

    Blessings, Alice

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    Comment on HOW THE AMISH SAVE THE ENGLISHERS MONEY (June 11th, 2012 at 07:51)

    HOW THE AMISH SAVE THE ENGLISHERS MONEY

    THE AMISH PAY SCHOOL PROPERTY TAXES
    IN MY AREA THERE ARE THREE AMISH SHULS (SCHOOLS) TO RUN THEM IT COSTS $14,000 DIVIDED BY 60 SCHOLARS AT A COST OF $233.00 per Student.
    At THE ENGLISH SCHOOL I TAUGHT AT THEIR BUDGET FOR 60 students is $420,000. $7,000 per student. THAT IS A $406,000 DIFFERENCE EACH YEAR.
    AMISH PAY INTO SOCIAL SECURITY IF THEY WORK FOR THE ENGLISHER BUT NEVER COLLECT A CENT
    IN RETURN. IN MY AREA THEY DON’T CLAIM THE CHILDREN DEDUCTIONS ON THEIR TAX RETURNS LOSING THOUSANDS OF DOLLARS.
    NO FOOD STAMPS
    NO GOVERNMENT WELFARE
    THEY PAY GASOLINE ROAD TAX ON THEIR GAS THEY USE IN THEIR MACHINERY
    THEY DON’T GET MEDICARE OR MEDICAID
    WE NEED MORE PEOPLE LIKE THE AMISH
    THEY DON’T SUCK THE SYSTEM DRY LIKE GROUPS HAVE AND DO.

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      Jean Junkin
      Comment on Amish, NY school board resolve busing dispute (June 12th, 2012 at 12:39)

      I agree, let the Amish have their beliefs and schooling they want for their kids. I had the pleasure of staying at an Amish home in Bird in Hand, PA. Never have I seen such well behaved children. These were little ones, 7 and under. Some of them sang for us at breakfast. Some only sang in German, which was fine. It was the thought that counts. A lot can be said for what an Amish 16 year old can learn by working side-by-side with their father and mother.

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    Todd
    Comment on The local laws forced this, not the Amish (June 11th, 2012 at 08:36)

    The local laws forced this, not the Amish

    “New York state law requires busing to be provided to private school students as well as those attending public schools.”

    This is not an example of the Amish forcing “The World” to pay for their cultural particularities. The local laws state that buses must be available… even for private schools. Thus, in the extreme example, if there were a private school that attended from midnight to 6am, according to this stupid law, buses have to be provided. (assuming there are not limits written into the law that I have not read)

    I am supportive of the concession simply in the name of being compliant with state law. Really there was no concession. The law was made. The Amish articulated compliance requirements. The state had no choice (though it may be grumpy about it) but to abide by it. Simple.

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    Lee Ann
    Comment on Amish, NY school board resolve busing dispute (June 11th, 2012 at 09:10)

    The Amish deserve to have the buses get their children safely to school and back. I agree its not safe for the kids to be walking along side the road for many reasons.

    Public schools transport kids to charter schools and private schools, so the Amish have the right to have the bus service as well. As Richard and others stated the Amish do pay taxes and the school tax even though their children do not attend public schools.

    The Amish save alot of money for others, and do a great job of keeping farms going when English people are selling off farms and giving up the farm and country life. I for one applaud the Amish for continuing what they are doing, and getting the bus service for their children.

    I would like to see the Amish extend the schooling another year though in order to help the children do better with jobs. If they had a little more schooling with math and science it could benefit them as well as those needing to work with the english to support their families.

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    Alice Mary
    Comment on Thoughtful compromise (June 11th, 2012 at 09:46)

    Thoughtful compromise

    I agree with Alice Aber and Eli—I especially appreciate Alice’s comment,

    “If people in this world were more willing to make accomodations for others, it just might be a better place to live for everyone.”

    It goes both ways—English accommodating the Amish and vice-versa.

    The bottom line here is the safety of the school children.

    In my own area, our local Catholic school children ride buses with the local public school children. On days when the Catholic schools attend class, but the public school kids are “off”, thus no bus service, the Catholic parents must provide their own transportation. I also know of many public school parents who don’t want their kids riding the buses, so they drive their own kids—hopefully, for economy’s sake, (as well as being good neighbors) they carpool with others. Many (if not most) Amish, from what I’ve read and been told, pay English drivers to drive them to distant towns for various reasons—medical/dental appointments. I am sure this is an option they’d consider for their children if occasionally necessary.

    As Eli states, the Amish still pay for but don’t use government programs like Social Security, Medicare, etc., etc. They (like my parents, who put 3 daughters through 12 years of Catholic education while paying taxes for public schools) knowingly and willingly make choices that affect their pocketbooks, and accept the consequences because ultimately, it’s all “worth it” to them.

    We’re fortunate to live in a country where we have these choices as well as our freedom to protest, and possibly inspire change, when we feel it may be necessary.

    Alice Mary

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    Tami
    Comment on Pros of life in a small rural town (June 11th, 2012 at 10:24)

    Pros of life in a small rural town

    I don’t know if ppl on this site realize this, but the Amish were prepared to let this go. Some of their neighbors were encouraging them to fight for their rights, and were a bit frustrated that this is not their way. Because this is a small town where we know each other and we look out for our neighbors, it was more the community that fought for them. I am very proud of my little town for this. These ppl not only are helping our town financially, but also adding to the family friendliness that defines who we are. Our community has truly benefited from the Amish being here. They are a pretty conservative group, but they are some of the friendliest and most neighborly ppl you could ever hope to have as neighbors. Kudos to those who cared enough about our neighbors to continue to pursue what was right and fair.

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    Comment on Amish, NY school board resolve busing dispute (June 11th, 2012 at 10:40)

    I’m shocked that during economic times like this that the school district would cave on this issue. In my experience school districts are not super willing to change their bus schedules for private school students.

    I’m also shocked at the audacity of the Amish group to even ask for these special privileges. It seems to me that this group is giving up a lot of their ‘separate and apart’ walk from the world in the deal. They are making a deal that could possibly give the Board of Education a lot of power over their schools. I hope they know what they are doing because I can see some very bad things coming from a situation like this. Does being registered mean that they must then comply with state education requirements?

    (It reminds me a bit of the story I heard about a town in Wisconsin or Iowa that wanted to require the Slow Moving Triangle on buggies. The town wasn’t able to enforce this and so, according to the story-teller, they then passed an ordinance requiring the horses to wear diapers to eliminate road apples.)

    I do understand the concern of the children walking along the road but there are plain children far and wide that have responsible parents who hire drivers to take them to school. They would never consider asking the state for a special bus ride when such a simple option much more in keeping with their faith is available.

    My husband and I send our children to a private school where busing is not provided. The biggest hassle is finding transportation that is not going to break our budget. Yes it would be much easier to call up the school districts and make it their problem, but we made it our problem when we opted out of the public school system. Sometimes convictions take sacrifice.

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      Comment on Not a common arrangement (June 11th, 2012 at 16:08)

      Not a common arrangement

      As I wrote in response to Lance below I wonder what registration entails as well Rachel. As I think you hint at in your other comment it could very well be a short term gain but long term loss for this group of Amish. While it’s not unheard of, most Amish do not have such arrangements regarding busing.

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    Comment on Amish ny school bus (June 11th, 2012 at 10:53)

    Amish ny school bus

    I feel Evert child deserves a safe environment to and from school. Aren’t enough children taken from walking along sidewalks, in public areas or not far from their homes? Safety is first and Amish children also deserve to be bused for their own safety, when going to school. We don’t need more Amber alerts or ambulances because a child was taken or injured walking to school.b

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      Matt from CT
      Comment on Amish, NY school board resolve busing dispute (June 11th, 2012 at 12:31)

      >Aren’t enough children taken from walking along sidewalks,
      >in public areas or not far from their homes?

      That’s extremely rare.

      Children are statistically in much more grave danger every time their parents drive them to school then when they are of a stranger abducting them while they’re walking to or from school.

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    Comment on Response to Tami (June 11th, 2012 at 11:08)

    Response to Tami

    Tami,
    I’m glad that your town looks out for each other but I do not know that this was in the Amish people’s best interest. It leaves a bad taste when in one town the Amish don’t want to comply with building codes and regulations, one reason being that they don’t sign contracts, and in another town they insist on having special busing privileges and register their schools with the BOE in order to do so. I’m pretty sure there is some paperwork involved with that registration that would equal a contract.

    I am worried about the Amish allowing others to do their ‘fighting’ or lobbying for them. I honestly do not think it will benefit them.

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    Lance
    Comment on Uh no (June 11th, 2012 at 11:39)

    Uh no

    I am horrified that these Amish have ‘tied into the system’ with their schools and are receiving funds from the state. This will open those schools up to state control and regulation. The state could now dictate who can teach, what can be taught, they can silence Christian doctrine when it interferes with state mandates(read forced acceptance of homosexuality and silence of Christian beliefs regarding it, evolution and other heresies too), and the Amish may have to allow non-Amish into the school. I consider that a disaster for keeping the Amish way in that community.

    I am so glad that there is a Hillsdale College. They, and Grove City, PA are the only 2 universities in the USA that accept no gov’t money. This allows them to be the only controller of the school, its curriculum, who gets admitted, etc. Go sign up for the constitution series on their website and see how they have been greatly blessed by this separation from the state!

    I am great saddened by this compromise. Will it compromise all the other NY Amish schools too? Oh, what a tangled web we weave.

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      Comment on Separate but Equal (June 11th, 2012 at 14:19)

      Separate but Equal

      THE FIRST TIME AN AMISH CHILD IS INJURED OR WORSE BY SOME SELF CENTERED CELL PHONE TALKIN FAST FOOD EATIN DISTRACTED DRIVER I WILL REMEMBER YOUR COMMENTS uh no!
      SAVE A HORSE DELIVER AN AMISH SCHOLAR TO SHUL.

    • Lance for the record I have no idea what registration entails, and what are the implications. Even as just a nominal tie though I could see some Amish objecting. I’d guess it’s not much more than that, but that’s just a guess. Would be very bad for them if it did mean more than a formality as you speculate.

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    Lance
    Comment on Huh? (June 11th, 2012 at 14:50)

    Huh?

    I was pointing out that they have probably compromised the school by tying it to the state. In time, I believe the state will forget the original ruling and will force the school into modernity. The state may use this one school as an example to be used against all the others in the state. It has happened before and would be history repeating itself.

    I did not say a thing against the school busing, pro or con. I don’t understand what you were trying to say about my comment.

    Please, do not use all caps, it is considered to be shouting on the internet, a very impolite thing to do.

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    Elizabeth Snoke
    Comment on Yes on school busing (June 11th, 2012 at 15:23)

    Yes on school busing

    If the Amish are paying taxes (?including school taxes for public schools), they should have the right to school bus service.

    Since 2008, I have “adopted” an Amish family, sending money to the mother on the first of each month. I found her through the “Showers” column of The Budget newspaper. Her husband deserted her and their 5 children in 2007, leaving the church and apparently divorcing her in court so he could marry an “English” woman.

    In January 2010 in their Pennsylvania town, the children walked home from school as they always did. The older girl and her older brother stopped to get the mail from their mailbox by the road. At that point a nutty driver passed a car ON THE RIGHT and hit both children. The girl died immediately; her brother had a broken leg and recovered o.k. It still might have happened, but how many such children are hit by motor vehicles as they walk home on the edge of the road?

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    Tami
    Comment on Amish, NY school board resolve busing dispute (June 12th, 2012 at 11:15)

    I have no idea if my assumptions are right, but I was assuming that the public school is the one getting the funds to bus these kids, not the Amish school…not sure how that works but I do see your concern if it changes things for them. I believe this was just a way to make it ok with some tax payers to bus the kids. There are always a couple of those ppl who are sure they’re being taken advantage of in some way if whatever’s being done doesn’t help them personally. Never mind that the Amish pay school taxes anyway.
    I’m not sure how I feel about it leaving a bad taste if one group has to comply with something and another doesn’t…Some Amish groups don’t want to befriend any English at all and won’t have them helping out on their barn raisings for example, others do accept friendship and help..I don’t think it makes one group more “Amish” than the other, anymore than the fact that different groups have different rules for clothing. But some things are just indisputable, here for example there are regulations they have to follow for their outhouses, they didn’t always have to, but again, it doesn’t change their “Amish-ness”

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    Ed
    Comment on Amish, NY school board resolve busing dispute (June 12th, 2012 at 14:47)

    Erik, thanks for the update. It sounds like we’re still not clear on all the details, but this was not simply a case of Amish parents not wanting their children to mix with non-Amish.

    As Todd pointed out, New York state law requires school districts to provide bussing, up to a certain distance, for private school children living in the distric, including those attending religious schools. Nothing new here, this has long been State policy.

    I also like Tami’s update. It’s heartening to learn both that the Amish were prepared to concede this issue, and that non-Amish neighbors are the ones who fought for Amish concerns.

    I’ll add that New York State has a number of legal-but-unusual school districts. For example, Kiryas Joel, a Hasidic Jewish district created entirely to serve the special-education needs of that community, whose “regular” students all attend private yeshivas.

    • Thanks Ed, I really appreciate you and others able to share some local knowledge to provide more details and context on this NY issue. If there are any other updates I’ll be glad to hear about it.

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    sarah
    Comment on Amish, NY school board resolve busing dispute (June 13th, 2012 at 20:33)

    My understanding is that while they registered their school with the state, it involved little more than giving the names and ages of the students attending school and where the schools are located. The public school is the one that will be receiving the state aid. The amish school will only be receiving bussing.

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