2013 Review; 2014 Priorities

The Power of Ten Update

In this Issue:

  1. 2013 Review
  2. Let’s Make Education Our Priority for 2014
  3. Advocates for Justice End of Year Donation Plea

1) 2013 Review

2013 was a very active year for the struggle for educational equity in East Ramapo schools. It began with Letters from the NY State Education Department (NYSED) demanding that East Ramapo get its financial and educational house in order.  That initiative by the state was stalled by a lawsuit brought by the district against NYSED. That was another of several suits, fought with our education tax dollars, that the school board has lost. In January, Power of Ten went to Albany with students and parents and 4,994 signatures asking for NY State to intervene.  We got a response from Commissioner King, who said that there was pending legislation that could be a solution to our problem. In June The Power of Ten submitted petitions to Governor Cuomo with 6,152 signatures in favor of the passage of the bill. We have never received any response from Governor Cuomo.  In October, The Civil Rights lawsuit brought by Advocates for Justice survived another challenge by the school board’s $600 an hour lawyers. The judge has ruled that the case will proceed, and we are confident that Justice is Coming to East Ramapo!

Read an Abbreviated History of Actions to Save Our Schools or check out the archive of Power of Ten updates for a look back at more actions, 

2) Let’s Make Education Our Priority for 2014

All of our actions have had the single goal that every child’s right to a quality education shall be ensured and protected by the community at large.  We have promoted candidates for school board, we have conducted informational rallies and protests, we have delivered our message to the school district and to our elected officials.  We have filed appeals with NYSED, some of which have been successful. However, resources continue to be diverted and programs and staff continue to be cut.  In 2014 we will continue to rally, and to lobby. We will also be in court!

3) Advocates for Justice End of Year Donation Plea

When your civil rights are trampled, and the politicians are unwilling to act, it has traditionally been the legal system which has acted to protect your rights. Access to that legal system often depends on ability to pay, and too often justice is denied due to lack of funding.

We have been extremely lucky to have our issue taken up by a not-for-profit, public interest civil rights law firm. Advocates for Justice has been working tirelessly to get the US Federal Court to order that the East Ramapo School District stop diverting funding from public schools and restore funding to the way it is mandated by law.  The case also includes recouping damages from the school officials whose actions have caused so much damage to our educational system.

Advocates for Justice is not charging a fee to any of the over 400 people who signed on as plaintiffs in this suit. However, this is a very complicated suit and the school board has already spent millions of dollars trying to make it go away.  They know that if this case goes to trial, they will be personally liable, and they are using every desperate measure to try to stop this case from ever being seen by a jury.

We must come together to sustain our side of this legal battle.  That means each of us needs to pitch in for the costs, in whatever way we can.

Click Here to Donate to the Advocates for Justice East Ramapo Save Our Schools Legal Fund

Donations to Advocates for Justice are tax-deductible.

WE can make Justice come to East Ramapo! Please donate today!