Power of Ten Update

In this Issue:

  1. Save the Date: Fundraiser March 30th
  2. Local Yeshivas subject of Jewish week investigative report
  3. Letter to the Journal News: East Ramapo fails public school students
  4. Message from the editor

1) March 30th East Ramapo Fundraiser for Advocates for Justice:

Dear Community Supporter,

Are you ready to stand up against the injustices that harm our children and taxpayers each day?

Join us for a fundraising event celebrating our fantastic students, and helping Advocates for Justice fight for civil rights and equality for East Ramapo.

It will be a fun afternoon of auctioneering, guest speakers, food/beverages and musical entertainment, at the home of Rabia Nagin in Pomona.

We are looking to build momentum as the Save Our Schools Coalition to rally the parents, supporters and children that make up this wonderful community!

Sincerely, The Save Our Schools – East Ramapo Coalition

Save our Schools Fundraiser

March 30, 2013

2:00 – 5:00 PM

23 Dogwood Lane Pomona NY 10970

RSVP: http://poweroften.us/events/4/save-our-schools-coalition-fundraiser/

2) Local Yeshivas subject of Jewish Week investigative report:

The Jewish Week, an independent community newspaper, is recognized widely as the largest and most respected Jewish newspaper in America.

Reporters Julie Wiener and Hella Winston document millions of dollars of federal assistance for technology and internet services to schools, including local yeshivas, which expressly forbid students from using the internet.

Here is the three part newspaper investigative series:

Part I: Haredi Schools Reap Millions In Federal Tech Funds

Part II: How Do Haredi Schools Get All That E-rate Money?

Part III: E-rate Program Dogged By Concerns About Oversight

Reporter Julie Wiener was interviewed on WRCR about her investigative reporting. Listen to the interview.

3) In Reply: East Ramapo fails public school students

Jody Fox asks “What has the board done to enhance or at least maintain the educational process for the public school student?” in his excellent letter to the editor of the Journal News

4) Message from the editor

We are getting ready to go into another budget season.

Once again there are a series of very severe cuts being considered.

But this year is different from previous years in several ways:

  • Instead of drawing from reserves, the district will be paying off two years of deficit spending.
  • Plans are being discussed which would knowingly violate state regulations to achieve budget goals.
  • For the first time, the administration admits that spending on students who attend non-public schools is driving cuts to students who attend public schools.
  • The Board is already on notice from the Commissioner of Education regarding their actions, including the illegal, unreported deficits over the past two years, the debt to BOCES, and illegal special education placements.

Even if the board enacts all the cuts they have considered, it is doubtful they will be able to get out of the hole they have dug over the last 5 years. The impact on students could be catastrophic, decreasing already low graduation rate and handicapping college opportunities.

Will Governor Cuomo, Commissioner King, and the NY State Assembly and Senate leadership be able to sit idly by while thousands of students are deprived of their right to an education?

Their action, or inaction, regarding East Ramapo will certainly be a prominent part of their record as time goes by.

Your action is also important in this struggle. Please join us on March 30th to support Advocates for Justice, which has filed a class action civil rights lawsuit on behalf of the public school students and taxpayers.

If you are unable to make it, please consider making a donation. Go to www.poweroften.us and click “I want to support the class action lawsuit”. – Steven White, editor

Justice is coming to East Ramapo … and WE can make it happen!



Power of Ten Update

In this Issue:

  1. Governor Cuomo comments on East Ramapo
  2. Rockland County Legislature to Honor East Ramapo Board Members
  3. Dept of Education warns district again on violations
  4. Message from the editor

1) Gov. Cuomo: NYSED will do the right thing:

Governor Cuomo was in a part of the East Ramapo School District on Tuesday, giving a speech recapping his State of the State address.

A number of East Ramapo parents, denied attendance at the event, stood outside with a banner reading “Save Our Schools”.

Reporters managed to get in a few questions, including one about East Ramapo.

His response – “They are under the state Education Department, which has great management and they’re looking at it and I’m sure they will do the right and proper thing,” puts the burden of correcting the situation squarely on the shoulders of State Education Commissioner King.

The Journal News: Cuomo overlooks East Ramapo activists

Newsday: Cuomo won’t step in to help East Ramapo

2) Rockland County Legislature to Honor East Ramapo Board Members:

Rockland County Legislator Joseph Meyers will honor two former members of the East Ramapo Central School District Board of Education, Stephen Price and Susan Young-Mercer, for their many years of service to the school district and the community in a ceremony that will be held at 6:30 p.m. on Tuesday, February 19th in the Legislature’s chambers at 11 New Hempstead Rd., New City, NY. There will also be a musical performance by East Ramapo student musicians. Both the ceremony and the meeting are open to the public.

When: Tuesday, February 19 at 6:30 PM

Where: 11 New Hempstead Rd, New City

3) NY State gives East Ramapo yet another warning to clean up their act:

The NY State Dept of Education has found the district in violation of Federal and State law regarding special education placements multiple times over the past 3 years.

The district has not corrected the violations.

The Journal News: State firm on E. Ramapo special education violations

Newsday: State officials again blast East Ramapo special ed practices

4) Message from the editor:

According to an interview in the Journal News, a school official says the “private school community” has not “felt comfortable” with placing the students in public school. It should be noted that many district parents who use private schools are not included in the group that school officials routinely call the “private school community” and do feel perfectly comfortable with having their children attend integrated schools. A public school official, whose salary is paid completely by public school dollars, is certainly not the appropriate person to be a a spokesperson for the “private school community”. Every public servant should be aware that when some people say “uncomfortable” what they mean is they want to receive a privilege based on their race, religion or ethnicity. It is the public servant’s duty to be a spokesperson for the civil rights of all.

If you are sick and tired of being sick and tired of the destruction of our schools – do something! Contribute to Advocates for Justice, the public interest, non-profit law firm which has filed a class action, civil rights lawsuit on behalf of the parents, students, and taxpayers. Go to www.poweroften.us and click “I want to support the class action lawsuit”. – Steven White

Justice is coming to East Ramapo … and WE can make it happen!