Power of Ten Update
In This Issue:
1. Pressure Mounts on Sen. Flanagan
2. Strong East Ramapo in Long Island?
3. East Ramapo Yeshiva Funding Under Scrutiny
4. Co-existence, Corruption, Criticism and Bigotry
1) Pressure Mounts on Sen. Flanagan
Senator Flanagan, using his power as Majority Leader of the NY Senate, is preventing the passage of legislation designed to resolve the crisis in East Ramapo. His actions are highly unusual; normally a bill which addresses a local issue is not blocked by leadership as long as it has the support of the local community that it affects.
That support was reiterated last week by unanimous resolution of the Rockland County Legislature:
The Journal News: East Ramapo: Resolution supporting monitor passes Rockland Legislature
The bill was written and sponsored by Assembly Members Ellen Jaffee and Ken Zebrowski and Senator David Carlucci, all of whom represent East Ramapo. The bill has been endorsed by the Rockland County School Boards Association, of which East Ramapo is a member. So there is NO QUESTION as to local support.
There is also expert testimony and broad support from around NY State:
The bill has the support of the NY State Education Department, the NY State Board of Regents, Governor Cuomo, and the NY State Assembly. There have been two studies by independent experts in law, finance, and education, which have ALL come to the same conclusion.
Now Senator Flanagan is being called out for his obstructionism:
County Executive Ed Day has written to Senator Flanagan expressing his disappointment over Sen. Flanagan’s opposition to a monitor with veto power:
The Rockland County Times: The County Executive’s Corner: Fighting For East Ramapo
County Executive Day has invited Senator Flanagan to join him on a tour of East Ramapo.
2) Strong East Ramapo in Long Island?
The following messages are from Strong East Ramapo:
HUGE NEWS: SUPPORT FROM FLANAGAN’S OWN DISTRICT — I am proud to report that Three Village Central School District has joined our cause, passing a resolution in favor of an East Ramapo oversight monitor with veto power. Three Village includes the hamlet of Stony Brook, part of the district of Senate Leader John Flanagan, who has voiced strong opposition to our bill and is preventing it from getting to a vote. #LongIslandStrongER
THANK YOU, NORTH SHORE — The North Shore Central School District’s Board of Education, which is located in Senate Education Chair Carl Marcellino’s district on Long Island, passed a resolution at a recent school board meeting in favor of East Ramapo oversight! #LongIslandStrongER
How can you help? Please call Senator Flanagan’s district office (631-361-2154) and say: “I wanted to be sure that you knew that the Three Village School Board has passed a resolution in favor of East Ramapo oversight with veto power, so Senator Flanagan should reconsider his position on this issue.” The more people who remind his office of this news, the more concerned his office will become.
3) East Ramapo Yeshiva Funding Under Scrutiny
Billions of dollars are spent each year by the state and federal government to ensure that every child has the kind of quality education that will help him or her to develop into a productive, responsible citizen. Several recent investigations ask whether there are some who take that money without having any intention of delivering the service it was intended for. If this is the case, we hope that government will act quickly not only to recoup the funds, but also to ensure that no child will suffer from neglect of their civil right to an education.
The Journal News: FBI probe raises questions about yeshiva funding
4) Co-existence, Corruption, Criticism and Bigotry
Two excellent essays appeared this week in the media. The first, in the Journal News, analyzes co-existence and corruption in Ramapo and beyond. The second, by prize-winning author Shulem Deen and published in the Forward, looks at the difference between honest criticism and bigotry. I strongly suggest that you read both. The first might make you crazy, but the second will keep you sane!
The Journal News: Editorial: Room for all in Ramapo?