Call to Action! NY Must Intervene in East Ramapo!

Power of Ten Update
In This Issue:
1. NYSED asks for Comptroller Audit of East Ramapo
2. NYCLU calls for State Intervention
3. Message from Trustee Anderson

1) NYSED asks for Comptroller Audit of East Ramapo

According to The Journal News, state monitors say the district is as much as $30 million in the red and will not be able to meet payroll expenses for the year.

This apparently caught the monitors by surprise, and was only uncovered by the recently hired interim superintendent.

The monitors are now calling for the state Comptroller to immediately examine the district’s finances.

2) NYCLU calls for State Intervention

The New York Civil Liberties Union (NYCLU) is calling on NYSED and Gov. Cuomo to “truly intervene” in East Ramapo.

They call for the state to “remove anyone who failed to meet their educational obligations to students.”

They have developed an online petition.


The executive director of NYCLU, and the president of the Spring Valley NAACP, have written a joint op-ed for the Journal News, calling out the school board for enacting “21st-century Jim Crow education” in East Ramapo. 

Will NY State continue to ignore the plight of the children in East Ramapo? It’s up to US to demand action! SIGN AND SHARE TODAY!

3) Message from Trustee Anderson

This is just a reminder to all to please tune in on YouTube to the ER School Board Meeting on Tuesday at 7:30pm.  I didn’t win a seat on the board, but I did well for Wesley Hills with 759 votes.  My not winning will not stop my advocacy for the public school children of ER.

The children of ER need all of our support more than ever.  ER is in a severe financial crisis!  Dr. Giamartino discovered the problem after using his skill set to examine the books.  Dr. G only has been in the position since September 2020.  He inherited the mess!  The situation is so dire that there isn’t enough money to pay teachers to June.  Cuts to layoff 30 teachers have been proposed.  Constant voting down school budgets, mishandling of finances, hiring of high price attorneys, not settling voting rights lawsuit and bad decision making are some of the causes that have placed the district in this crisis.  A campaign is being launched by NYCLU for community members to write SED Commissioner Rosa, Governor Cuomo, and leaders of the Assembly and Senate requesting immediate State invention.

Please listen in on YouTube to how the board is addressing the problem?  Dr. G has the skill set to solve the problem so let us support him.  Please listen in to how he would like to solve the problem.




Act Now to Stop Teacher Cuts

Power of Ten Update
In This Issue:
1. Election Results
2. A Fifteen Million Dollar Question
3. East Ramapo is Insolvent

1) Election Results

We are very happy to report that our candidates in wards 1,2 and 3 have all won their races and will be sworn in at the next school board meeting on March 2.

They are:

  • Ward 1 – Ashley Leveille
  • Ward 2 – Sabrina Charles-Pierre
  • Ward 3 – Sherry McGill

These are the three wards which were drawn up to provide equal representation for voters of color in East Ramapo. Thanks to the NAACP-NYCLU, there are now three members of the school board who will be held accountable by people who use the public schools for their children.

There were also two well-qualified candidates who ran in other districts, Carole Anderson in ward 9 and Linda Valentine in ward 4. They deserve our thanks and respect for all their hard work. 

2) A Fifteen Million Dollar Question

Last year, the federal government passed the CARES Act, a COVID relief bill which included billions of dollars for schools. The money is distributed through the states, and then on to the schools. When NY State passed its budget on April 1, 2020, it reduced state aid in an equal amount. For any other district, this would have been an even trade, but of course not for East Ramapo. The federal CARES Act funds are targeted to include private schools, but the state funds that it replaced were mostly for public schools. The net result is a movement of $15 million from the public schools to private schools. This apparently was not understood by the district, and Interim Superintendent Giamartino has now issued a statement that “internal reviews” have “discovered a series of long-standing underfunded budget codes” “in conjunction with state aid losses”. 

The board, which seemed not to take notice that public schools had just lost $15 million, did however notice that $15 million was now going to be available for private schools, and issued a notice  seeking bids. The board awarded a $15 million contract to the Community Outreach Center (COC). The CEO of the COC is Rabbi Hersh Horowitz, whose name came up in the Voting Rights trial as one of the key players in the slating process that selects the board members. Also revealed in the trial, Rabbi Horowitz told school board president Grossman “We are focusing mostly on English … So when superintendent comes to visit she will be able to communicate with the students”. So, while actually educating the students in these private schools does not seem to be a high priority in getting a multi-million dollar contract, being one of the guys that’s coordinating political support for board members seems to be quite helpful.

An appeal has been filed with the commissioner to void the contract. All of the details are available in this Journal News Exclusive: NYCLU wants state Education Department to void $15M East Ramapo schools contract

3) East Ramapo is Insolvent

It has now become clear that the school board has failed to perform their fiduciary duties, including:

  • Not making the proper budgetary adjustments for the contingent budget
  • Not budgeting adequately to include the legal costs associated with their ill-conceived attempt to preserve a racist voting system
  • Not recognizing that the public school budget was shorted by $15 million in state aid

As a result the district is now insolvent. It has run out of money in the middle of the school year, and is taking drastic measures that are hurting students, parents, and teachers.

Dr. Giamartino has already cut 4 assistant superintendent positions, cancelled 2.3 million in contracts, and is now proceeding to lay off 32 teachers. This will mean disruptions to children’s lives –  not just their educational experience in the middle of the school year but also their emotional support network in the middle of the pandemic. In any district, this would be a challenge, but in East Ramapo, which has already seen hundreds of staff cuts, it is catastrophic. 

The children should not have to pay for the board’s failures!

Many people and organizations are writing to the state education department and their elected officials. They are asking that something be done, so that teacher layoffs will not happen.  

Power of Ten has created an online letter you can send with one click, asking the Commissioner of Education to stop the cuts, and hold the board accountable for failing their fiduciary duty.

Special Edition: Community Meeting This Wednesday

Power of Ten Update
Special Edition: Community Meeting This Wednesday

The New York Civil Liberties Union (NYCLU) is taking on “21st Century Jim Crow Education” in East Ramapo.

Last week, together with the Spring Valley NAACP, they delivered a letter with more than 1500 signatures to the State Education Commissioner urging her to take immediate action to stop the ongoing civil rights violations in the East Ramapo Central School District.

Now they are hosting a virtual community meeting to discuss the next steps to restore public education in the district, and YOU are invited to participate.

The meeting will be in both English and Spanish.

The Details:
Wednesday, February 10, 6 p.m.
Link to join the Zoom meeting:

Meeting ID: 891 1418 3895
One tap mobile
+16465588656,,89114183895# US (New York)
+13126266799,,89114183895# US (Chicago)

Speakers at the forum will include:
Willie Trotman, President of the Spring Valley NAACP .
Dr. Oscar Cohen, Education Chair of the Spring Valley NAACP.
Sri Nath Kurup, sophomore at Ramapo High School and NYCLU Student Ambassador