Board Will Punish Children for Parents Asserting Their Rights

Power of Ten Update
In This Issue:
1. Board Will Punish Children for Parents Asserting Their Rights
2. Power of Ten Publisher Featured in Podcast
3. Abidjan Principles Video Series
4. School Board Election Deadline is February 2

1) Board Will Punish Children for Parents Asserting Their Rights

As reported in The Rockland County Times, the East Ramapo school board has announced that their unethical appropriation of education funds will result in program cuts. At the time that they decided to embark on this ill-advised venture, they chose to take actions that they knew would harm children. Now that they have lost in court, they are attempting to shift the blame to the victims of the school board’s illegal schemes.

2) Power of Ten Publisher Featured in Podcast

The UnEducated Podcast is a production of Young Advocates for Fair Education. Listen in to hear a little interesting background from Power of Ten publisher, Steven White.

3) Abidjan Principles Video Series

The Abidjan Principles is the international reference text on the right to education. They compile and interpret existing human rights law and standards to provide guidance on the State’s obligation to: provide free, public education of the highest attainable quality; regulate private involvement; and fund quality public education, in particular in the context of the rapid expansion of private sector involvement in education. 

Power of Ten is featuring new videos by The Abidjan Principles group on our homepage.

4) School Board Election Deadline is February 2

If you are a voter in East Ramapo, you should have already received your ballot in the mail. If you have not, please call the district clerk at 845-577-6015.

The deadline to return your ballot is February 2. Information on our candidates is available here.



Power of Ten Update
Special Edition: Vote!

This is a special message for Power of Ten readers who are registered voters in East Ramapo.

Every voter should have received a ballot in the mail by now. If you have not received a ballot, you should notify the district clerk right away.

You can only vote for ONE candidate! 


WARD 1: Ashley Leveille
WARD 2: Sabrina Charles Pierre
WARD 3: Sherry McGill
WARD 4: Linda Valentine (write in)
WARD 9: Carole Anderson

Your ballot will have your ward number on it. Darken ONLY the circle for the ONE of our candidates that is running for your ward.

For Ward 4, you will need to darken the circle for “write-in” and write the name in.

If you do not live in one of these wards, you may want to write in another name.

The ballot comes with a postage paid envelope and instructions. Please follow the instructions and return your ballot ASAP. There is also a box for ballots at the district. Instructions are provided for that as well.

Candidates are also accepting help with phone calls, etc.

You can volunteer or donate on their website:


Phone Bank Opportunity

Power of Ten Update
In This Issue:
1. Phone Bank Opportunity
2. Candidate’s Forum
3. Petition Albany for Justice

1) Phone Bank Opportunity

YOU can now help spread the word about our wonderful candidates by participating in one of the phone banks they have set up!

Please sign up to participate here

2) Candidate’s Forum

The Spring Valley Branch of the NAACP is hosting a forum for you to learn about the candidates running for the East Ramapo school board.

The forum will be via Zoom, on January 11 at 7:00 PM.

Here is the Zoom link:

3) Petition Albany for Justice

The petition to Albany for Justice in East Ramapo is still open!

You can sign it here:


Your Signature Needed: New Oversight Letter to NYSED

Power of Ten Update
In This Issue:
1. School Board Loses in Court Again!
2. Your Signature Needed: New Oversight Letter to NYSED
3. Ballots Are Arriving
4. Write-in Linda Valentine in Ward 4

1) School Board Loses in Court Again!

Once again, a court of law has found that the East Ramapo school board majority has acted in bad faith, enacting policies that favor the private-school community at the cost of harming the quality of education for public school students. 

Read all about it in The Journal News: Appeals court back backs NAACP in East Ramapo voting rights challenge

2) Your Signature Needed: New Oversight Letter to NYSED

We first wrote to the State Education Department (NYSED) asking them to intervene in East Ramapo back in 2009. We cited “a pattern of racial segregation in school attendance and race-based neglect of educational opportunities” that “violates the democratic principle of governance with the consent of the governed.”

Through all of the many dozens of findings by courts, monitors, state and federal agencies, the board has never wavered from its racially biased policies. Children who entered Kindergarten in the 2008-9 school year will have spent their entire educational experience under this system of 21st Century Jim Crow. Far too many exit with crushed hopes and no diploma. All this while, the State Education Department has stood by, writing reports and wringing their hands. We now have a new message for NYSED, and for our elected officials: We are sick and tired of being sick and tired. No more reports. No more “monitoring”. It’s time to act.

NAACP Spring Valley Chapter, in partnership with the NYCLU, has written a letter to the Commissioner of Education, asking for a meeting to discuss more direct involvement. Our elected representatives in Albany are copied.

They would like YOU to sign on to this letter!

Please act swiftly, sign, and share.

3) Ballots Are Arriving

Many voters have gotten their ballots already. It’s very important that you follow the directions included with the ballot carefully. 

If you are in Wards 1,2,3 or 9, you will see the name of one of our East Ramapo Together candidates.

Please visit for all the details.

4) Write-in Linda Valentine in Ward 4

Many readers have written in asking if there are not any other choices in their wards. Those in Ward 4 (Chestnut Ridge area) now have an alternative:

To my community of Chestnut Ridge and Ward 4.  My name is Linda Valentine and I am a candidate for the East Ramapo Central School District Board.

I have been a resident of Chestnut Ridge for 25 years and I have taught in schools districts in New York City so I understand the value of public education for all student.  My Master’s Degree in Social Work provides me with the knowledge needed to apply compassion to the challenges students and family face particularly during this pandemic. I have worked in the court system and in law enforcement and have seen firsthand the tragic results of policies that inhabit learning and the results.

But most important, I am the mother of four children who grew up in Chestnut Ridge.  My two youngest attended the East Ramapo school district and I am the proud grandmother with six grandchildren of which two attended Summit and Kakiat.

I am a 36 year member of the Alpha Kappa Alpha Sorority whose mission includes an educational focus and service to mankind. Also as a member of the Order of the Eastern Stars here in Rockland, I have a heart for community service. My church is St. Paul’s AME Zion in Spring Valley.

My personal story, I was in a serious accident five years ago where I was paralyzed from the neck down. Doctors said I would never walk again however my faith in God, my husband Grant Valentine, my children and friends, I am walking again. So I understand the struggles students have who are underserved, denied resources and the feeling of neglect by institutions. I want the students to know there is a voice on the East Ramapo school board who will speak for them. For the parents in East Ramapo, know I will do whatever I can for our students and I am part of the community you can believe in.

It does not matter your race, religion or zip code every student has a right to achieve their potential with a solid public education.

There is no shortage of solutions just a shortage of courage and my plan is as follows:

    1. To ensure the East Ramapo students are prepared for the digital economy with the understanding of technology and the tool for success
    2. Increase academic growth for students who come from non-traditional families
    3. To Focus on restorative justice to reduce out of classroom time
    4. To track special education students into inclusion opportunities in all grades and

Continually assess equity gaps and goals.

I will need your help as a write-in candidate so please:  LINDA VALENTINE

A New Era of Involvement

Power of Ten Update
In This Issue:
1. A New Era of Involvement
2. Message from Trustee Anderson
3. Board of Ed Meeting Tuesday

1) A New Era of Involvement

The historic victory of the NAACP and NYCLU in their landmark civil rights case against the East Ramapo school board has ended the school board’s racist practice of voter dilution which was disenfranchising thousands of Black and Latinx voters. The student body of East Ramapo is now 95% Latino and Black, so this change will result in the parents of public school students finally having some power at the polls.

However, the decision to use a ward system to elect board members also means changes for voters who don’t live in one of the three wards in which voters of color are a majority. Just like voters in wards 1-3, voters in wards 4-9 will now know who is their person on the board, and will be able to watch their performance at meetings, contact them with concerns, and hold them accountable with their votes. This may usher in a new era of community involvement in how our school system is run.

Just as in previous years, a group of candidates has come together based on a mission of improving the quality of education. You can learn about who they are and what they stand for on their website:

If you are not in a ward where one of these candidates is running, it might be difficult to know what to do when your ballot arrives. Some of the candidates on those ballots are those who opposed the ward system, who approved millions of dollars in wasteful spending on frivolous lawsuits, who voted to sell district property at pennies on the dollar, who have never asked a question in a board meeting about graduation rates, class size, test scores, or any other educational issue. If you find yourself represented by someone like that, do not despair! You can still write about your concerns to the board member, and copy the superintendent, the state education dept., and your representatives in Albany. Even if the board member is unopposed, you can still use the option to write-in on the ballot. This is the only time all nine board members will be elected at once, starting with the next election in 2022 they will return to rotating three seats per year.

2) Message from Trustee Anderson

I want to thank you for so many things that I don’t know where to start?  For many of you I wish to thank you for reaching out to me to tell me how you appreciated me telling my story about my high school experience with geometry.  The great thing about that is you saw the importance of supporting our public school children.  I was lucky because I had my mom and grandmother to support me, but our kids are now having the benefit of an army to support them.  According to YouTube, 233 persons tuned in to the last Board meeting and that was because of your pushing friends, family, and neighbors to tune in.  Please keep up the good work because we can’t let our children down.  Please try to increase that number of 233.  Only by our being informed by the actions of the Board will we be able to put pressure on them to make decisions that are beneficial to our Black and Brown children.  Please keep in mind that our children need us!

There is a very important vote for ERCSD trustees on February 2nd.  All nine seats are up.  Thanks to the NAACP, NYCLU, and Latham and Watkins there will be a Ward vote.  You will be able to choose the person you feel who best represents your Ward?  This is an all mail vote.  You should receive your ballot by the middle of the month.  Please mark your ballot and mail it back immediately.  If you live in these Wards please vote for these candidates:

    • Ward 1  Ashley Leveille
    • Ward 2 Sabrina Charles Pierre
    • Ward 3 Sherry McGill
    • Ward 9 Carole Anderson

Happy New Year!



Silence is not an option.

Silence is complicity.

Change only comes when people stand up to demand it.

3) Board of Ed Meeting Tuesday

As Trustee Anderson has explained, it is important to attend the board meetings, currently being held virtually on YouTube due to the pandemic.

The next meeting is this Tuesday, January 5 at 7:30 PM.

Directions for YouTube:

Go to ERCSD Homepage.

Click on District Clerk.

Click on Announcements.

First line states:  “Click here for YouTube.”