This is War!

Power of Ten Update
In This Issue:
1. Battle of the Bus Depot Today
2. Declaration of War
3. A Global War on Children’s Education

1) Battle of the Bus Depot Today

Today, August 8, 2017, The East Ramapo school board will meet at 7:30 PM at their headquarters at 105 S. Madison Ave in Spring Valley, with the purpose of laying off bus drivers and selling buses. This is part of their plan to transfer real estate, 45 acres, from public ownership to private hands.

As we have seen with the Hillcrest and Colton school buildings, these “sales” are really land grabs. The school board will be selling, but they themselves are selected by those who will be the buyers. The conditions that create an excuse for the sale are manufactured.

The bus drivers are innocent bystanders. They are just in the way. The same way the children were in the way when schools were taken.

The NY State Education Department is complicit. Both school sales occurred during the tenure of the first “Fiscal Monitor”. The recommendations of the second monitor were ignored with no consequence. The current monitors endorsed a plan to use public dollars to provide extended courtesy busing for yeshivas while public school teachers are still spending money out of their own pockets for school supplies.

As the LifeLock commercial says: “Why monitor a problem if you don’t fix it?

2) Declaration of War

Today’s battle of the bus depot is part of a longer war on our public educational institutions. This became obvious when Aron Wieder appointed Al D’Agostino as the lawyer for the district. Joe Farmer, the Assistant Superintendent at the time, said “This is a declaration of war“.

He went on: “Here is the most unique community in the state of New York …  It’s not fair to destroy the potential of this community … and this community is being taken apart … and just from raw power, selfishness, to take control is not why we are in this business, and these students deserve more, they deserve better.”

3) A Global War on Children’s Education

It’s not only public educational institutions which are under attack in this war. Posters have gone up warning of “crossbreeding Yeshivas” in Israel that teach secular studies including about “other religions like Catholicism and Islam, God forbid.” “The ultra-Orthodox community in the United States will not let that happen under any circumstances.” “The sages already led a war against it.”

Who leads a “war” against Social Studies, Science and Math? Is it dangerous to know what a molecule is? Will learning the meaning of PEMDAS or SOHCAHTOA harm children? Would they be damaged from learning what happened at Harper’s Ferry? 

There is such a thing as right and wrong in the world. It is wrong to deny education to anyone, and it is illegal in NY to deny it to children. Those who would oppose education for their own families, or allow it to happen to their neighbors should not be entrusted with overseeing education of the general public. That applies to the East Ramapo school board and superintendent, and it applies to the NY State Department of Education – Commissioner, Monitors, Regents and all.

Coming to a school board meeting to stand up against laying off school bus drivers may not seem like a big step, but its a lot better than doing nothing. You don’t have to be Malala to make a difference, you just have to do what is there for you each day. Come to a meeting, write a letter, vote, make a donation to YAFFED, even just talking about the problem with your neighbor or co-worker makes a difference. But seriously … see you tonight!!!



50 Years after Selma, Time to March for Civil Rights Again

Power of Ten Update

In This Issue:

1. Bus to Albany
2. School Board Election Campaign Event Saturday
3. Protests Continue
4. Call Your Representative
5. Martin Luther King Center Event Sunday

1) Get On This Bus!

On April 28, buses will leave Rockland for Albany, bound to deliver our message of support for the Bill for Oversight for East Ramapo. Fifty years after the march from Selma to Montgomery, students civil right to an education is under attack in East Ramapo. Please join us and our local legislators as we visit Albany to advocate for oversight and change in East Ramapo!

So, take the day off from work. Bring the kids. Bring your neighbors. Bring your friends. If you ever spent a moment asking yourself what you could do that would most help the children to have an opportunity for a better education, THIS IS IT!!!

Sign up right now at


2) School Election Update

The school board election is May 19. You can get involved by coming to an informational event. Learn about the issues and how you can get involved. This campaign period is short. All of us will need to participate and solicit others to help us as well. Please ask your friends and neighbors to join us. We need all of you to help communicate with the voting public so they will be aware of how the school boards fiscal mismanagement is destroying our kids future and our home values. This effort is dedicated to providing the information that every voter need to know.

Date: Saturday April 11, 2015
Time: 2:00 – 4:00pm
Location: Hillcrest Firehouse
300 North Main St, Hillcrest NY
Rear of Building entrance and parking

Please RSVP to if you can come

3) Protests Continue

According to the NYS Fiscal Monitor, the East Ramapo Board “appears to favor the interests of private schools over public schools”. If you do not accept second class status, YOU MUST COME OUT and protest at the school board meetings. Invite your friends! Make a sign! If not now, when? 

The next meeting is scheduled for April 14, at 7:30 PM, the protest will be held at 7:00.

The address is 105 S. Madison Ave, Spring Valley

To receive reminders about meetings or cancellations, text the word POWEROFTEN to 84483 from your mobile phone.

4) Call Your Representative

Both the Assembly and the Senate are not meeting for a few more weeks, so representatives are in their districts for the rest of this week, listening to their constituents.  That means today is the perfect day for you to call your own Assembly Member and/or Senator‘s district office.  (Or to urge the New Yorkers you know to do the same.)
You can call to THANK your representative if he or she has already co-sponsored the bill. That includes Assembly Members Jaffee, Galef, Glick, O’Donnell, Rivera, Solages, Zebrowski, Skoufis, Hooper, Rodriguez, Gottfried, Dinowitz, Paulin, Abinanti, Lavine, Otis, Bichotte, and Senators Carlucci, Krueger, Larkin, Latimer, Savino. 
Otherwise, you can call to URGE your representative to support it.  Here’s what you can say:
Hello!  My name is X, and I am a constituent in your district.  I am calling because I want to urge your office to support [Assembly Bill 5355 / Senate Bill 3821], in favor of state oversight of the East Ramapo School District.  Can I count on your office to support this bill?  I’d love to see the representative’s name as a co-sponsor.
Do not let them tell you that the bill is in the Education Committee and therefore too premature to support.  Many of the names above (like Otis and Savino) are not members of the Committee, nor are from Rockland.  If the offices need more information, they can visit
Send a message to once you’ve called to let us know what happened.
5) Martin Luther King Center Event

The Board of Directors of the Martin Luther King Multi-Purpose Center Inc. is pleased to invite you to its 24nd.Annual Awards Benefit Dinner Dance on Sunday, April 12th, 2015, from 4:00 pm – 9:00pm at the Clubhouse at Patriot Hills, 19 Clubhouse Lane, Stony Point, NY.

Click Here For ticket information and to purchase tickets online.

The Center is experiencing severe financial challenges that are the result of the loss of substantial government funding. Each year we honor a select group of individuals and organizations whose commitment to Rockland County, or to the Center, make them deserving of this tribute. We hope that as we celebrate outstanding Rocklanders, we can continue working together to create a stronger, more inclusive, and non-violent “Beloved Community,” that honors the legacy of the Reverend Dr. Martin Luther King Jr.