Rally Tuesday Against Discrimination in Transportation

Power of Ten Update
In This Issue:
1. Rally Tuesday Against Discrimination in Transportation
2. Budget Revote June 21

1) Rally Tuesday Against Discrimination in Transportation

Please join East Ramapo Parents and advocates as we rally to protest East Ramapo’s discriminatory transportation practices. 

When: Tuesday June 14 at 7:00 PM

Where: East Ramapo District Offices, 105 S. Madison Ave, Spring Valley

Why: The law requires school districts in New York to provide transportation equally to private and public-school students. The system the district uses includes exclusive contracts with companies serving only all-white private schools which provide services that are better than those that the public school students receive. This includes door-to-door service and service that was not interrupted by COVID shortages.

The effect of this taxpayer funded segregated busing scheme is separate and unequal treatment. All of the buses are taxpayer funded, and all should be available equally for all children. The same logic which says children attending private school cannot get LESS busing also requires that they cannot have MORE or BETTER busing.

The private school users, led by their representatives on the board, have successfully set up a JIM CROW busing system in East Ramapo. This not only harms public school students who miss school because of transportation issues, it also harms ALL students, because when children notice when certain groups seem to be treated differently than others, they internalize racial bias. While those who get the better service are certainly in a better position than those on the other end of discrimination, they are also psychologically harmed. Justifications given by school administrators and NY State Education Department (NYSED) officials only serve to affirm the implication that different treatments are normal, or even deserved.

2) Budget Revote June 21

East Ramapo continues to have the most rejected budgets of any district in NY. This is because the majority of eligible voters here don’t have children in the public schools. Also, there is a lack of oversight of public funds. For example, the voters voted down a $58 million bond for building repair, but passed it on a revote, because NYSED promised that they would oversee the spending. However, superintendent Ellis now says our buildings “are in total disrepair” and NYSED now says it never had the ability to oversee this large infrastructure project. No one from either East Ramapo or NYSED has ever been held accountable. Voters often feel like Charlie Brown running to kick a football held by Lucy in the old “Peanuts” comic strip.

Public school supporters in East Ramapo continue to vote “YES” on budgets, in numbers often greater than any other school district, because our students are truly in need. If you are eligible to vote in East Ramapo, all the details on when, where and how are on the district website: https://www.ercsd.org/. The district can’t tell you HOW to vote, but Power of Ten can: Please Vote YES!



Special Edition: Assessment Reports of East Ramapo

Power of Ten Update
Special Edition: Assessment Reports of East Ramapo

In this special edition, Power of Ten shares with you three new independent assessments of the East Ramapo school district. Taken together, these three reports constitute a damning verdict on the failed policies of the NY State Education Department (NYSED) to protect East Ramapo children’s constitutional right to a sound basic education. 

1. Not Making the Grade: New York’s Jim Crow School District
2. East Ramapo Ambassadors Youth Lobby Day Speech
3. School budget cuts and academic performance: The case of the East Ramapo Central School District

1) Not Making the Grade: New York’s Jim Crow School District

This report is produced by the New York Civil Liberties Union (NYCLU), a major organization dedicated to defending everyone’s constitutional rights. They conclude that educational outcomes in East Ramapo are far worse than other Rockland districts. They recognize that a situation in which a white majority controls essential public services for a community of color, in a hyper-segregated setting, can only be described as what it is: “Jim Crow”.

Please access this report here: https://www.nyclu.org/en/campaigns/not-making-grade-new-yorks-jim-crow-school-district

2) East Ramapo Ambassadors Youth Lobby Day Speech

This report was presented by East Ramapo students to lawmakers in Albany. The students report on terrible conditions of overcrowding, and violations of the Dignity for All Students Act (DASA). It must be noted that the overcrowding is a direct result of the white school board majority converting two public school buildings into private all white institutions, and that the NY State Education Department has not taken any steps to replace this loss of classroom space. 

Read the students powerful speech here: East Ramapo Ambassadors Youth Lobby Day Speech

3) School budget cuts and academic performance: The case of the East Ramapo Central School District

This is a Public Policy Senior Thesis by Duke University Student Mona Tong. It includes a detailed history and analysis of the district’s educational and financial issues, as well as the socioeconomic issues of the community. This is the most complete and detailed analysis of the district ever done. It should be required reading for every policy maker.

Read it here: https://drive.google.com/file/d/1LKyLQY_B-6ZLGyPCTg1A74fIwkPPEoGZ/view