Power of Ten Update
In this Issue:
- Over 2,700 people have signed the petition!
- School Board meeting Tuesday
- Please support the class action civil rights lawsuit
- Stage set for State takeover
- Message from the editor
1) Petition for state oversight of East Ramapo now has over 2,700 signers:
There are now over 2,700 signers to the petition at www.poweroften.us/petition which was created only 10 days ago.
Please share the petition with all your email contacts, Facebook friends and Twitter followers. There are share buttons for Facebook and Twitter right on the petition. The link to email your friends is www.poweroften.us/petition
This petition is open to anyone who agrees with the message. You do not need to be a resident of East Ramapo to sign.
There is a Facebook event page at: http://www.facebook.com/events/342604792513847/ Clicking “Going” to the event is another great way to show your support and also an easy way to spread the word.
Please confirm your signature: If you have not confirmed already, expect to get a confirmation email for your petition signature. Please add firstname.lastname@example.org to your “safe sender” list, (aka contact list, friend list or address book) to ensure that the confirmation goes to your inbox.
2) School Board Meeting TUESDAY NIGHT
Tuesday, January 8
7:00 PM? or 8:00 PM?
105 S. Madison Ave, Spring Valley
Over 400 Community members, mostly parents, rallied at the last school board meeting in December to demand that essential programs including Kindergarten, Music and Art be preserved.
The result was that no action was taken, and the kids were back in Kindergarten this week!
Please come to the next meeting this Tuesday.
As of this moment there has been no agenda posted; we don’t know what kind of action they plan to take.
Once again, the time for the meeting is not clearly set. They “plan” to go into a private session at 7:00 PM, and “expect” to open the public session at 8:00 PM.
Whether you arrive at 7:00, or 8:00, or somewhere in between, you will find other parents, students, and community members there ready to make good use of the time.
We are fighting to save public education, will you join us? We will NOT BE SILENT!!!
3) Please support the class action lawsuit:
Advocates for Justice, a New York based, non-profit, public interest law firm, has filed a class action, civil rights lawsuit on behalf of East Ramapo School District parents, students, and taxpayers.
Advocates for Justice is not charging us a fee for this action, but they are in need funds to continue this fight. They are asking us to contribute what we can. Monthly amounts are especially helpful (and easier on tight family budgets!)
Be part of the solution, contribute online, or mail a check to:
Advocates for Justice
225 Broadway, Suite 1902
New York, NY 10007
4) Stage will be set for State takeover of East Ramapo:
An article in the new Newsday Hudson Valley Edition (sorry it is only available to Newsday or Cablevision customers) is titled “East Ramapo Schools Edge Closer to State Takeover”.
Some choice excerpts from the Newsday article:
State education officials on Thursday sent a letter demanding action by the superintendent of the East Ramapo Central School District after the district blew a Jan. 2 deadline for a plan to address its budget deficit. The letter appeared to be an aggressive step toward a state takeover of the district.
“Failure to take the above actions on or before January 16 will result in a commissioner’s order to you and the board to comply,” State Education Department Deputy Commissioner Ken Slentz wrote. Such an order would set the stage for an immediate state takeover of the district if the order is not obeyed.
Adding to the district’s woes, King sent a letter Wednesday — a second letter — citing “concern” over the board’s conduct when it voted to sell Colton Elementary School.
Excerpts from The Journal News reporting on the sale of Colton:
Commissioner John King says Anderson didn’t “meet her burden of proof” in arguing that the Board of Education sold the building for less than it was worth.
“We have to consider (whether) we will or will not,” sell the school, (School District Attorney) D’Agostino said. “… A lot of issues are being addressed there now.”
Among the “issues,” which D’Agostino declined to discuss, is that Bais Malka has been in arrears on rent payments for months.
5) Message from the editor:
The Power of Ten is organized to advocate for the rights of the children who attend the public schools in East Ramapo. These rights include an educational experience that prepares them for college and for the job market; an experience that is rewarding and fulfilling, an experience where they are respected and where they are expected to excel. These rights include the right to live and learn in an environment free of racism, segregation or unequal treatment. The rights of the students are inseparable from the rights of the parents to be heard and listened to.
The goal of these messages is to inform and to inspire. Please do not just read and watch. Get involved. Get all your friends, relatives and co-workers to sign the petition, donate to the non-profit law firm, or come to a meeting. Be the person who is always telling others the truth about what is happening here and what we are doing about it. Justice is coming to East Ramapo … and WE can make it happen!!! – Steve White, editor
“Once social change begins, it cannot be reversed. You cannot un-educate the person who has learned to read. You cannot humiliate the person who feels pride. You cannot oppress the people who are not afraid anymore. ― César Chávez