Power of Ten Update

In this Issue:

  1. Another Board Meeting Change
  2. Newsday reports on letter from NYSED to East Ramapo
  3. Please support the class action civil rights lawsuit
  4. Are Art and Music required?
  5. Message from the editor

1) Latest changes: Board meeting at RAMAPO HIGH SCHOOL TUESDAY NIGHT at 7:00 PM

The next board meeting is advertised at 7:00 PM, but the web page says they “anticipate” and “intend” to start the public session at 7:45.

We are fighting to save public education, will you join us? We will NOT BE SILENT!!!

Please make every effort to be at the board meeting on Tuesday!!!

2) Newsday: State demands answers in East Ramapo Budget Crisis

According to the new Westchester/Rockland Edition of Newsday, the State Education Department has sent a letter to East Ramapo officials.

State Education Commissioner John King Jr. told Newsday “I’m very concerned about the decisions the district is making around its finances, including the failure to pay for the BOCES services,”and “We are committed to exercising whatever authority we have to assure that students are well served.”

The state is also offering to help the district out of the mess it has created with inappropriate special education placements to non-public schools.

Read the whole article online. It is quite an eye-opener!

3) Please support the class action lawsuit:

In 2009, East Ramapo parents first got together to chant “Save Our Schools”. Since then, there have been hundreds of layoffs and program cuts, and multiple citations from the state for failing to educate and failing to protect the taxpayers’ investments. Today, we are fighting back with a class action civil rights lawsuit!

Advocates for Justice, a New York based, non-profit, public interest law firm, has filed this 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) Are Music and Art required at the Elementary level?

From the NY State Education Dept. Regulations of the Commissioner:

”all students (in grade 1-6) shall receive instruction that is designed to facilitate their attainment of the State … learning standards in … the arts, including visual arts, music, dance and theatre”

“The (grade 1-6) music requirement means all students are to receive instruction in classroom general music … students must receive classroom general music instruction.”

5) Message from the editor:

The East Ramapo School Board meetings sometimes seem like chapters from “Alice in Wonderland”, with money appearing and disappearing, insane rants from the board president, and board members darting out the back door in the middle of meetings. Now they are becoming like the Cheshire Cat, very hard to say just where or when they can be found. How is a reasonable person supposed to attend such a meeting?

The school board has proposed that they will make extensive mid-year cuts which could include cutting ALL kindergarten classes!!! They are considering eliminating ALL Elementary Art and Music teachers!!! THIS is the meeting they choose to play musical chairs with the place and the time for the public to attend??? – Steven White, editor “The Power of Ten”

“Human rights violations are not accidents; they are not random in distribution or effect. Rights violations are, rather, symptoms of deeper pathologies of power and are linked intimately to the social conditions that so often determine who will suffer abuse and who will be shielded from harm.” – Dr. Paul Farmer


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