Power of Ten Update

In this Issue:

  1. Over 2000 people have signed the petition!
  2. Please support the class action civil rights lawsuit
  3. End of year message from Power of Ten

1) Petition for state oversight of East Ramapo now over 2000 signers:

There are now over 2000 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

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 steve@poweroften.us to your “safe sender” list, (aka contact list, friend list or address book) to ensure that the confirmation goes to your inbox.

2) 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

3) A very eventful year:

A lot has happened this year in the struggle for public education in East Ramapo. There have been a lot of hard knocks for the staff who lost their jobs, the parents who are worried about their kids education and who feel disrespected by the school board, and especially for students who have to deal with the loss of many programs, overcrowding, lack of materials, dirty classrooms, aging school buses, and even smaller meals (yes, they even cut portions in the cafeterias). Many staff members have gone above and beyond to try to keep up services, including spending money out of their own pockets. The district suffered a terrible blow to morale when they laid off Michael Smith, who had led the marching band to so many joyful awards and celebrations. This year Mr. Smith took the Nyack marching band to their first state competition, and they won first place. Videos of the East Ramapo Marching Band can be seen here: http://poweroften.us/video-gallery/marching-band/

However, there have also been several hopeful developments which lead me to believe that there is light at the end of the tunnel.

  • Advocates for Justice, a non-profit public interest law firm, has committed to seek relief for us in court. The class action civil rights lawsuit they have filed on behalf of 845 students, parents and taxpayers from our community is a direct confrontation of the cause of our problems: a school board which has diverted funds to promote their own religion and private religious schools; discriminated against and segregated students on the basis of race, color, national origin, ethnicity, and religion; gutted the funding of the public schools; and damaged the quality of education of our children.
  • The State Education Department has become increasingly critical of the governance of the district. They have been particularly concerned with the illegal diversion of public funds to private religious schools and the illegal deficit which has started to affect Rockland BOCES and thereby all districts in Rockland County.
  • Increasing community involvement, including over 500 parents and students who came to the last school board meeting and over 2000 who have signed the online petition so far.

You can read more about the events of 2012 in the Power of Ten archives at http://poweroften.us/updates/


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