Power of Ten Update
In This Issue:
1. Huge Turnout for Albany Trip
2. Protests Continue at Board Meetings TONIGHT!
3. Cablevision Special Report on East Ramapo Wednesday
4. NYCLU Honors East Ramapo Activists
1) Huge Turnout for Albany Trip
Over 350 parents, students, and supporters convened in Albany to support the legislation for oversight for East Ramapo. They made a dramatic impression on the senators and assembly members. Many reacted to the personal stories of the students who detailed the impact of the crisis on their lives. The parents made it clear to lawmakers that it is the State of NY which has the ultimate responsibility for ensuring a sound basic education, and that they welcome action from the state to ensure that right for their children. Right now only 15% of East Ramapo students are proficient in Math, and 14% in English. These statistics are unacceptable. Taxpayers told legislators that they know East Ramapo already receives more state and federal aid than any other school district in Rockland County, while delivering the lowest graduation rate. They know the district has been cited by the education department multiple times for illegally diverting funds to private religious schools, and is even being investigated by the Attorney General for selling district property below market value. They agree with Hank Greenberg: “Not one more cent without oversight”.
Opponents of the bill have been in Albany spreading misinformation, claiming that the problems are due to lack of state aid, and that critics are only motivated by bigotry. These claims were categorically refuted by the diverse group that went to Albany; the truth has been nicely summarized in an op-ed piece in the Journal News, jointly authored by Rev. Weldon McWilliams IV and Rabbi Adam Baldachin:
After the visit several legislators joined on as cosponsors, and Sen. Carlucci got the Senate Education Committee to agree to place it on their agenda.
As a follow up, a call in campaign has been launched on FaceBook: https://www.facebook.com/events/1572409903046680/
Stay tuned for the next steps to support this innovative and fair solution for the crisis in East Ramapo.
2) Protests Continue at Board Meetings
Parents and students have been attending board meetings and voicing their concerns about the impact of fiscal mismanagement and insensitivity of the administration and board members. Please join us at the next meeting:
Tuesday, May 5th (TONIGHT!) at 7:00 PM
105 S. Madison ave, Spring Valley
3) Cablevision Special Report on East Ramapo Wednesday
Cablevision News 12 will air a special report “A Tale of Two Districts”, featuring Emmy Award winning journalist Tara Rosenblum, on Wednesday, May 6 at 5:00 PM.
4) NYCLU Honors East Ramapo Activists
The New York Civil Liberties Union Lower Hudson Valley Chapter will present the Myron Isaacs Community Service Award to Arlene Popkin, Longtime NYCLU Board Member and Legal Aid Attorney, and Oscar Cohen, Willie Trotman and Steven White, Advocates for Educational Equality in East Ramapo.
The Keynote Speaker will be Norman Siegel, Civil Rights Attorney and Former NYCLU Executive Director.
Tuesday, June 9, 2015
Reception 6:00 | Dinner 7:00
One Warburton Ave.
Tickets and dinner journal ads are available for purchase at: https://action.aclu.org/secure/lhv-dinner-2015