Klein Must Resign!

Power of Ten Update

In This Issue:

1. Senate Stops Monitor Bill
2. Chancellor calls for removal of Superintendent Klein
3. Klein Must Resign!
4. Protest July 7

1) Senate Stops Monitor Bill

What happened? We are all asking ourselves how a local bill bill with 100% local support, including a resolution by the Rockland County Legislature, lobbying by County Executive Ed Day, and the support of the Rockland School Board Association could fail to get a vote in the NY State Senate. 

Capital New York:

“In East Ramapo, where a school board dominated by Orthodox Jewish members is at odds with the parents of a student body that is largely black and Hispanic, in a situation that seemed to be crying out for some resolution at the state level … Governor Cuomo … backed a bill … which passed the Assembly by a close vote … but the Senate did not advance legislation on the issue … Republicans there, including Flanagan, said the Assembly bill would strip local control of schools. He’s likely just as mindful that bloc voting is common in Orthodox communities, and that the G.O.P.’s narrow majority depends on keeping Simcha Felder, a Democrat whose Brooklyn district is heavily Orthodox, in the fold.”

Read the whole article here: http://bit.ly/1C06Lbw

2) Chancellor calls for removal of Superintendent Klein

Following a series of reports which document the failures and incompetence of East Ramapo district leadership, Chancellor Tisch has called for the removal of Superintendent Klein.

Wall Street Journal:

The East Ramapo school board is controlled by Orthodox Jewish men who send their children to private religious schools. Over the past year, a series of state reports have detailed the district’s financial deficits, mismanagement and failure to provide adequate instruction to many of its public school children, most of whom are poor minorities.

In recommending that the board remove Superintendent Joel Klein,Ms. Tisch said, “It’s time for the board of East Ramapo to stop living in this fantasy where the world doesn’t see them as being misguided in their treatment of these public school children, and do something to show…they are going to try to act to repair a very damaged relationship” with the community.

To Access the Full Story, Follow the link on the Power of Ten Facebook page here: https://www.facebook.com/pages/Power-of-Ten/222126104511971

3) Klein Must Resign!

Angelica Infante-Green, the education department’s associate commissioner of bilingual education, described her experience visiting East Ramapo: “What I did see was very little attention paid to (immigrants who speak Spanish).” “The funding that was designated for this population was being misused. It was not going to direct services to students,” she said. “It’s an injustice that these kids have not been served.”

On Sunday Morming, about 75 people gathered in front of Superintendent Klein’s house to demand Klein’s resignation:

Many of the protesters were Latinos, who remembered that the superintendent had made insensitive comments about Hispanic immigrants last year. Now they have read the new reports about how the district is failing to deliver state mandated services for immigrants and English Language Learners. 

4) Protest July 7

There has been a protest at every school board meeting since September 2014. The nest meeting/protest will be Tuesday July 7 at 7:00 PM, at 105 S. Madison Ave, Spring Valley. We hope you will join us. Justice is coming, and you can make it happen!

New Reports: East Ramapo Governance Failing; Call on NY Senate to Pass S3821 For Oversight Now!

Power of Ten Update

In this Issue:

1. NYSED Reports: East Ramapo Administration Fails!
2. Last Day to Make Calls and Send Emails
3. Report from Monday’s Rally and March

1) NYSED Reports: East Ramapo Administration Fails!

Three new reports from NYSED directly tie poor student performance to the failures of the East Ramapo board and administration to provide vision, leadership, and direction. The reports provide devastating detail of lapses in oversight, failure to supervise, failure to evaluate, and colossal arrogance. The summary of the reports is available here. Here is the Compliance Report on English Language Learners, and Here is the report on school district effectiveness.

Capital’s Jessica Bakeman: Education department: East Ramapo failing English learners

“These reports add to already overwhelming evidence that for many years, the East Ramapo school board has not acted in the best interests of its public school students,” Board of Regents chancellor Merryl Tisch, who has advocated strongly for the legislation, said in a statement. “The hardship these students have endured is reprehensible. The Legislature has a moral imperative to act before they leave town for summer vacation. The students in East Ramapo public schools cannot afford to wait another year.”

The Journal News: State report gives E. Ramapo schools low marks

2) Last Day to Make Calls and Send Emails

The Senate session was extended again, with today, Wednesday June 24, being the new last day. That means there is still a chance that the bill for a monitor for East Ramapo could pass this year!

Do your part! Use this link to send email to the NY State Senate (with a copy to Governor Cuomo)

Then make a phone call (or seven if you can). Don’t forget to forward the message to your contacts around the state, their calls count too!

The top person to call remains Senator John Flanagan since he controls what gets voted on by the Senate. But who else could you call to try to help us as we race to the finish line? Check out the list below, in order of priority. (Forward this message and have your friends and family call, too!)

1. Senator John Flanagan (518-455-2071). Given that the East Ramapo oversight bill passed the Assembly, it is more than reasonable to ask him to “bring Senate Bill 3821 to a vote of the full Senate.”

2. Governor Cuomo (518-474-8390, press 3). The Governor has stated his support for East Ramapo oversight more than once, and we are thankful for that. But we need him to “use his considerable influence to convince the Senate to vote on S. 3821.”

3. Senator David Carlucci (518-455-2991). We need Senator Carlucci to champion his original bill. Be clear that you want him to “focus his energy, and his networks in the Senate, to bring Senate Bill 3821 to a vote.”

4. Senator Bill Larkin (518-455-2770). A senator from North Rockland and Orange County, this 87-year-old statesman already supports Senate Bill 3821 and could use his 25 years of seniority to “urge Senator Flanagan to let the S. 3821 to be brought to the full Senate for a vote.”

5. Senator John Bonacic (518-455-3181). A state senator from Orange, Ulster and Sullivan Counties, this 15-year veteran of the Senate has indicated his support for S. 3821. Ask him to “encourage Senator Flanagan to bring the East Ramapo oversight bill that passed the Assembly to the Senate floor for a vote.”

6. Senator Jeff Klein (518-455-3595). The leader of Senator Carlucci’s Independent Democratic Conference, Senator Klein from Riverdale may have chips he can cash in for his allegiance to the Republican majority. Urge him to use some for the children of the district.

7. Senator Carl Marcellino (518-455-2390). The chair of the Education Committee, Senator Marcellino is very familiar with the issues in East Ramapo. As a fellow Long Islander (Syosset), he and Senator Flanagan are tight. Urge him to “do the right thing and ask Senator Flanagan to bring S. 3821 to a vote.”

3) Report from Monday’s Rally and March

What can I say about Monday night? Police estimated 700 people rallied in Memorial Park and marched to the Central Administration Building. They came together to speak with one voice: Pass S3821! Speakers included Assembly Member Ken Zebrowski and Ellen Jaffee, NY State Regent Judith Johnson, Spring Valley NAACP President Willie Trotman, Parents Activist Luis Nivelo and more. 

News 12: Parents demand state monitor oversee E. Ramapo schools

Facebook Video: https://www.facebook.com/1269116671/videos/10206582701587455/?l=4396381180476045668

Rally Monday: Gov Cuomo, Where are You?

Power of Ten Update

In This Issue:

1. Prayer Vigil for Victims of Charleston Church Shooting Tonight
2. Our Bill Stalls in Senate
3. Rally on Monday
4. Vote on Tuesday
5. Minority Empowerment Forum Thursday

1) Prayer Vigil for Victims of Charleston Church Shooting Tonight

The Rockland County Minsters Alliance will hold a Prayer Vigil in support of the families of the victims of the church shooting at the Emanuel African Methodist Episcopal Church located in Charleston, SC. Please come out to Pray for Peace and the Strength to stand up for Righteousness.

The First Baptist Church of Spring Valley NY.6 Hoyt Street, Spring Valley
Sunday, June 21, 2015 6:00pm-8:00pm

2) Our Bill Stalls in Senate

The bill for a monitor for East Ramapo passed the NY State Assembly as A.5355 on June 11 following a spirited and healthy debate. Opponents of the bill were given every opportunity to present their concerns. Assembly Members Jaffee and Zebrowski answered those concerns at length. The majority of the members of the Assembly, having heard both sides, voted to pass the bill. However, Senate Majority Leader Flanagan refused to allow the companion bill, S.3821, for a discussion or a vote in the Senate. Then Senator Carlucci, who represents our area, submitted a different bill, S.5974.

This new bill was submitted as an ultimatum, with no time left for review, discussion, or feedback. Since then the Senate has stayed overtime due to other issues, giving a us a chance to evaluate the new bill. Further complicating the matter, the Senate Bill would have to also pass through the Assembly all over again.

The purpose of creating a bill was to correct problems identified in the Greenberg Report. The report found that many of the decisions of the school board were harming the quality of education. He recommended a change in the relationship between the state and the board. The state, Mr. Greenberg said, should have a monitor on site at the district, with power to prevent further harm.

Senator Carlucci’s bill does not provide for a monitor with the power to intervene. The monitor would only have the ability to send a written objection to the Education Department. The Assembly members who worked to get the original bill through their house tried to work out a compromise which would involve a hearing officer, but Senator Carlucci would not include that the monitor could file a complaint except for violation of law by the school board. This struck many as odd. Why would a law be needed to stop people from breaking the law?

It is the state which bears the ultimate responsibility for ensuring that a sound, basic education is provided. The local school board members are chosen by the local community, but they are acting on behalf of the state to accomplish the objectives put forth by the state. The Education Department already has teams of professionals reviewing the practices of East Ramapo and every other district. The problem in East Ramapo is that the school board refuses to comply. We don’t need another written objection. We need NY State to honor its obligation to the children.

For more details and analysis, I recommend the Strong East Ramapo Facebook page.

3) Rally on Monday

Monday, June 22nd from 7 p.m. in Memorial Park in Spring Valley.

The Senate was supposed to conclude their legislative year this past Wednesday. However, they are returning to Albany on Tuesday for their unfinished business. We want to be clear that strengthening the East Ramapo oversight bill MUST BE part of their last day.

Our goals for the rally are to:
— Demand that our Senate Leadership in Albany do better for the children of East Ramapo, that the current Senate Bill is inadequate and that a monitor must be able to stop the board from violating their responsibilities to the children
— Urge Governor Cuomo to intervene on our behalf
— Unite community around our strength and our determination to not give up regardless of what happens.

Make signs like:
— We need STRONG oversight for East Ramapo
— Senator Flanagan: we deserve more than crumbs
— Put some teeth in the bill
— Albany, don’t let East Ramapo down
— Governor Cuomo, where are you?
— We are not done!

Tell your friends, family and neighbors and spread our message widely. Anyone is welcome that cares about justice for the children of the district. Please plan to attend and bring your friends, neighbors and anyone who feels our children and community deserve better!

4) Vote on Tuesday

The Finklestein Library Budget Vote and Trustee Election will be held on Tuesday, June 23 from 7 a.m. to 9 p.m. at the Library. Each year one of five trustee seats is up for election. This year it is the seat of Denet Alexandre. Mr. Alexandre is a longtime supporter of public education in East Ramapo. Please come out to the library on June 23 to support your public library and to keep Mr. Alexandre on the board.

Budget information and Biographical information about the candidates is available online here

A review of current issues at the library by Mr. Alexandre is available here: http://www.hnenetwork.com/

5) Minority Empowerment Forum Thursday

The Spring Valley NAACP, We The People, and Tender Steps of NY, Inc. will co-sponsor a “United To Build” event on Thursday, June 25, 6:30pm at the Louis Kurtz Civic Center.

The Black and Latino community make up 30% of Rockland County and it is time to unite and let our collective voices be heard.  Let’s come together and identify social issues that pertain to each community and figure out how we could unite to tackle those problems.

Tuesday: Back to Albany

Power of Ten Update

In This Issue:

1. Tuesday: Back to Albany
2. Wall Street Journal on Monitor Bill
3. Library Vote June 23

1) Tuesday: Back to Albany

Please join Strong East Ramapo as they travel to Albany one more time in support of the bill for a monitor for East Ramapo:

FINAL WEEK — Now that we have passed the Assembly, join me on Tuesday in Albany for a chance to advocate for East Ramapo oversight in the Senate. This is it. Let’s leave nothing undone. Thank you to members of the Ramapo Class of 2009 for already committing!


If you can’t make it, you can help from home:www.strongeastramapo.org/action

2) Wall Street Journal on Monitor Bill

The best coverage of the action last week, by Leslie Brody of the WSJ:

N.Y. Lawmakers Approve Monitor for East Ramapo School District

3) Library Vote June 23

The Finklestein Library Budget Vote and Trustee Election will be held on Tuesday, June 23 from 7 a.m. to 9 p.m. at the Library. Each year one of five trustee seats is up for election. This year it is the seat of Denet Alexandre. Mr. Alexandre is a longtime supporter of public education in East Ramapo. Please come out to the library on June 23 to support your public library and to keep Mr. Alexandre on the board.

Budget information and Biographical information about the candidates is available online here

Monitor Bill Passes NY State Assembly; Your Help Needed for the Senate Vote

Power of Ten Update

In This Issue

1. Monitor Bill passes in NY Assembly!!!
2. Next Step: The Senate – Your Help Needed!!!
3. Dr. Andrew Mandel talks East ramapo on NPR Radio

1) Monitor Bill passes in NY Assembly!!!

Today was a historic milestone in the struggle for Justice in East Ramapo. The Bill for a Monitor passed 80-56. Thank you to Ellen Jaffee and Ken Zebrowski, as well as Assembly Education Chair Cathy Nolan, Assemblywoman Rodneyse Bichotte, Assemblyman Aubry, and Speaker Heastie.

2) Next Step: The Senate – Your Help Needed!!!

The bill must now pass the Senate. Senator Carlucci told the Journal News that he’s working hard with Senate Leader Flanagan to get the bill to a vote. Then it will go to Governor Cuomo, who has already said he will sign the bill.

Many have already sent email to the Senate rules committee. Please use this link to send another message, which addresses some of the concerns raised by opponents of the bill. 

Use this Link to send Email to NY Senate Rules Committee

We must also keep the phone calls going — and MUST mobilize anyone you know in New York State to call their own local senator (or, even better, show up at the local office). If you know ANYONE on Long Island or upstate New York in particular, this is the time to ask them to help us. No one is more persuasive than the person who votes for you. Think through your own contacts, and reach out to them.

Every phone call matters — particularly now.

When you call the people below, please say:
“My name is X, and I am from Y. I strongly support Senate Bill 3821, and we need your support now. Everyone from the Rockland School Boards Association to the New York City Bar Association considers this a reasonable solution to a crisis that has gone on for way too long. Please support us.”

Priority One List (Rules Committee members)
Hannon (Garden City, Long Island) (518-455-2200)
Little (Lake George) (518-455-2811)
Nozzolio (Seneca Falls area) (518-455-2366)
Seward (Oneonta) (518-455-3131)
Young (Western New York) – (518-455-3563)

Priority Two List (Other Senators who will vote once Rules passes it)
DeFrancisco (Onondaga and Cayuga Counties) (518-455-3511)
Amedore (Ulster County) (518-455-2350)
Funke (Rochester) (518-455-2215)
Murphy (Westchester/Putnam/Dutchess) (518-455-3111)
Ortt (Niagara Falls) (518-455-2024)
Robach (Rochester) (518-455-2909)
Serino (Dutchess/Putnam) (518-455-2945)

Priority Three (Other Senators who will vote once Rules passes it)
Comrie (Queens) (518-455-2701)
Golden (Brooklyn) (518-455-2730)
Gallivan (Geneseo) (518-455-3471)
Marchione (Hudson/Saratoga Springs) (518-455-2381)
O’Mara (Corning) (518-455-2091)
Sampson (Brooklyn) (518-455-2788)
Martins (Long Island) (518-455-3265)

3) Dr. Andrew Mandel talks East Ramapo on NPR Radio

Dr. Mandel delivers a brilliant, educated interesting interview on the WAMC Radio Show “Conversations with Alan Chartock”. Follow this link to listen to the show

East Ramapo Mismanagement Continues Unabated, Anti-Defamation League Supports Monitor Bill

Power of Ten Update

In This Issue:

1. School Board loses another lawsuit
2. ADL Supports Monitor Bill
3. NY Senators Need to Hear from YOU!

1) School Board loses another lawsuit

New York’s highest court has ruled against the East Ramapo board in their lawsuit against the NY State Education Department. The school board was cited by the education department for unlawfully placing students in private schools at public expense on August 27, 2010. They were notified again on December 23, 2010, and again on March 29, 2011. They were cited again August 23, 2011 and again on May 24, 2012 and again on December 19, 2012.

On April 12, 2013 the school board sued the education department. On December 20, 2013, the NY state Supreme Court ruled against the school board. Despite the court finding that the board had “wholly failed to meet its burden”, the board decided to sue again in the appellate court.

All of these expensive lawsuits were against a state agency enforcing federal law designed to provide a Free Appropriate Public Education in the Least Restrictive Environment, recklessly using funds taken from the education of children.

The board continued its reckless course even while the fiscal monitor, Hank Greenberg was conducting his inquiry and even while Assembly Members Jaffee and Zebrowski and Senator Carlucci were writing the bill for a monitor, and even while they were lobbying Albany that they did not need more oversight!!!

The complete disregard for US law and the regulations of the NY State Education Department are proof that oversight without veto power is completely ignored by this board. The remedy proposed by Mr. Greenberg represents an absolute minimum. There is no more time to lose. Action is needed immediately!

2) ADL Supports Monitor Bill

The Anti-Defamation League (ADL) today issued its support of an oversight monitor for East Ramapo, indicating that the legislation will be an important first step in restoring trust in the community.

3) NY Senators Need to Hear from YOU!

The Senate Education Committee has not scheduled any more meetings, and so it will be the Senate Rules Committee which can place the Monitor Bill on the calendar.

Now is the time to write the Senators and urge them to pass the bill!

Follow this link to send a message Today!!!


East Ramapo Bill Support Multiplies as it Passes the Education Committee

Power of Ten Update

In This Issue:

1. Monitor Bill Passes Assembly Education Committee
2. Join Strong East Ramapo in Albany on Wed, June 10
3. School Board Association supports monitor for East Ramapo
4. NY Times Op-Ed slams board, supports bill
5. Rabbi calls board actions “flagrant violation” of Jewish values
6. Governor Cuomo reiterates support for monitor bill
7. Last Call: Please Join me at the NYCLU Dinner

1) Monitor Bill Passes Assembly Education Committee

The NY State Assembly Education Committee voted today to support the bill for a monitor for East Ramapo school district! This is one very important step towards the bill becoming a law. This law would protect the civil rights of the children in East Ramapo. Next steps are passage by the full Assembly and the Senate Education Committee.

2) Join Strong East Ramapo in Albany on Wed, June 10

With the New York Legislative session ending June 17, the clock is ticking for Assembly Bill 5355 and Senate Bill 3821. A group of supporters for East Ramapo’s children have decided we need to make another trip to Albany. We will be traveling by individual cars and gathering at 9:30 a.m. in the Legislative Office Building for a special event before meeting with lawmakers throughout the day. We will conclude at 3 p.m.

Join Strong East Ramapo on the June 10 trip

If you cannot go, you can still make phone calls. Call Assembly Members Colton (518-455-5828), Cahill (518-455-4436) and Ramos (518-455-5185), as well as Speaker Heastie (518-455-3791). Call Senate Minority Leader Andrea Stewart-Cousins (518-455-2585) and Senate Education Committee Chair Marcellino (518-455-2390). Say “The children of East Ramapo need your help. Please support Senate Bill S-3821 and Assembly Bill 5355.”

3) School Board Association supports monitor for East Ramapo

The Rockland County School Board Association, representing all eight school districts in Rockland County, has endorsed the bill for a monitor! They Join the Rockland County Legislature, Reform Jewish Voice of New York, The NYC Bar Association, The Alliance for Quality Education, and many, many more.

The endorsement of the school board association is particularly important because the East Ramapo school board is itself a member. It shows how far the board has gone astray from it’s mission. What is the mission of a school board? From the National School Board Association: “Education is not the first priority of a school board. It is the ONLY priority.”

4) NY Times Op-Ed “When a School Board Victimizes Kids”

Chancellor Merryl Tisch and David Sciarra (head of the Education Law Center) have written the op-ed in the New York Times.

They cite “overwhelming evidence” that the East Ramapo school board has “utterly failed” the children.

They say the bill for a monitor is a “crucial step toward reversing the district’s disastrous decline and repairing the deep rifts in the community”.

This is a must-read: When a School Board Victimizes Kids

5) Rabbi Hart: board actions are a “flagrant violation” of Jewish values

In an opinion piece in “The Forward” (the most widely read Jewish newspaper) Rabbi Ari Hart calls on fellow Orthodox Jews to “find a way to both advance our interests and needs while taking the needs of our fellow citizens into account”. He believes an independent monitor would build trust, which would be “ultimately … the best path for everyone”.

Another “must-read” An Immoral Use of Jewish Power in Upstate New York

6) Governor Cuomo reiterates support for monitor bill

Capitol New York’s education reporter Jessica Bakeman reports that NY Governor Andrew Cuomo said he supports the bill for a monitor and is pushing for the Legislature to pass it. During a visit to Nyack on June 3rd, he said “There’s no reason why they can’t do it. They have two weeks left.” Cuomo also said charges of anti-Semitism against bill supporters are just politics. “they’ll say whatever they have to say,” Cuomo said.

7) Last Call: Please Join me at the NYCLU Dinner

Lower Hudson Valley Chapter Annual Dinner 2015

Please Join Us As We Honor: Arlene Popkin, Oscar Cohen, Willie Trotman & Steve White

Keynote Speaker: Norman Siegel, Civil Rights Attorney and Former NYCLU Executive Director

The Riverview
One Warburton Avenue
Hastings-on-Hudson, New York 10706

June 9, 2015
Reception 6:00 pm
Dinner 7:00 pm

Please purchase your tickets online at www.aclu.org/secure/lhv-dinner-2015.


Power of Ten Update


In the last update, I failed to include all the information you need to make phone calls.

Here is the complete information:

Call Speaker Carl Heastie (518) 455-4800 and say: “I support Assembly Bill A-5355 for oversight of the East Ramapo school district. Please bring it to the floor for a vote immediately”.

Call Senate Education Committee Chair Carl Marcellino (518) 455-2390 and say, “The children of East Ramapo need your help. Please support Senate Bill S-3821 and get it through the Education Committee immediately.”

Please Make these Calls Today! Then:

Thank the Assembly Members who are already supporters: http://poweroften.us/thank-an-assembly-member/

Even More Support:

There have been two more letters in the Journal News:

East Ramapo needs a monitor

A sad legacy for East Ramapo alumni