A New Beginning?

Power of Ten Update

In This Issue:

1. Strong East Ramapo Volunteer Kickoff
2. 2017 Candidates Forum February 16
3. Monitors Report – A New Beginning

1) Strong East Ramapo Volunteer Kickoff

Strong East Ramapo will hold a Volunteer Kickoff event this Thursday, February 2, at Finkelstein Library at 7 p.m.

They need YOUR HELP to get out the vote for this year’s CRITICAL school budget vote on May 16.

Please let them know you are going by RSVPing here: www.strongeastramapo.org/action

2) 2017 Candidates Forum February 16

What kind of person makes a good school board member?

The Center for Public Education says the person should:

  • inspire parents and other stakeholders to have confidence in the local public schools
  • enhance the mix of skills and backgrounds on the board and help represent the diversity of the community
  • have the commitment to do what is right for all children, even in the face of opposition

Does this sound like someone you know? Or maybe you might be interested yourself?

Power of Ten will be helping to introduce those interested in running for school board to the community.

Those interested in being a candidate should fill in this google form

What: 2017 School Board Candidates Forum
Where: Martin Luther King Multi-Purpose Center, 110 Bethune Blvd, Spring Valley, NY 10977
When: Thursday February 16 at 7:00 PM

The purpose of the forum is to discuss the issues concerning the quality education in our district, and to give those who would like to run for school board in 2016 an opportunity to present themselves to the community.

3) Monitor’s Report

The Monitors appointed by NY State have issued a report, titled “A New Beginning” 

The report includes progress which has been made as a result of state intervention, as well as continuing problems and concerns. The monitors recommend continued oversight by NY State.

I would like to thank every reader of Power of Ten for your continuing activism. It is only because YOU wrote a letter, or made a call, or got on that bus with Strong East Ramapo, or attended a school board meeting or community forum, that we have now turned a corner. There is still a lot of work to be done, but there are many hands and voices ready for action.

The work which is before us at this present time:

  • Hold the superintendent accountable to present a budget that fully funds the educational needs of the students. According to the Monitor’s Report “The district must increase local revenues faster than the tax cap allows if the district is going to restore programs that were cut over the last nine years.” 
  • Get out the vote to pass that budget
  • Elect school board members who are committed to restoring East Ramapo as the best school district in Rockland County.

I know I can count on every one of you to get involved this year. I am looking forward to seeing you at the upcoming events.

Steven White, Editor of The Power of Ten

We did it! Here are the next steps:

Power of Ten Update

In This Issue:

1. We surpassed our goal!
2. Phone the Governor
3. Martin Luther King Day
4. 2016 Candidates Forum

1) Fundraising Goal Surpassed!

Thanks to everyone who donated to our campaign, and special thanks to those who responded to yesterday’s appeal!

We raised $2,290 in 24 hrs to blow past our $25,000 fundraising goal for this campaign!

2) Call Gov. Cuomo

The debate over how to help the East Ramapo district will be among the top issues facing the state Legislature this year. It deserves to be mentioned in the Governor’s State of the State address on Wednesday.

Please now take 30 seconds to call the Governor’s office. The number is 1-518-474-8390, then press 3 to talk with a person. You can say, “I am calling to ask the Governor to include support for strong oversight for the East Ramapo School District in his State of the State Address.”

3) Martin Luther King Day

The sixth annual Martin Luther King Celebration 2016 will take place on Monday, January 18th. It will be a remarkable event with 117 sponsors and 100’s of supporters. The whole community is invited. The admission is free and food will be provided for everyone free of charge. Weldon McWilliams IV is the keynote speaker and there will be exceptionally good entertainment.

Please help us get the word out so we fill Ramapo High School in a great Unity Celebration which not only honors the great work of Dr. King and the Civil Rights movement but examines what has to be done to make our community, the nation and the world a better place for all.

What: Celebrate the Life and Legacy of Dr. Martin Luther King Jr.

Where: Ramapo High School, 400 Viola Rd, Spring Valley NY

When: Monday, January 18th from 3:00 pm – 7:00 pm

Details: http://mlkmpc.org/2016/01/08/2016-martin-luther-king-day-celebration-ramapo-high-school/

Facebook Event Page: https://www.facebook.com/events/1745327839029244/

4) 2016 Candidates Forum:

Its time to start thinking about the May school board and budget vote!

Last year’s candidates have maintained a presence on social media to give this year’s candidates a head start.

We will hold a public forum on Thursday January 28 to give an opportunity for all who would like to run for school board in 2016 to present themselves to the community. 

Our goal is to strengthen the unity in our community, and to provide the very best support to a unified slate of candidates.

You can help by encouraging others to think about becoming candidates for school board. Or maybe you might be interested yourself? The Center for Public Education says a good school board candidate should: have vision and goals for high academic achievement for all students; be able to inspire parents and other stakeholders to have confidence in the local public schools; enhance the mix of skills and backgrounds on the board; and help the school board represent the diversity of the community.

Those who wish to run should fill in this google form.

What: 2016 School Board Candidates Forum

Where: Martin Luther King Multi-Purpose Center

When: Thursday January 28 at 7:00 PM


Power of Ten Update
In this edition:
  1. Students refuse to participate in Dr. Klein’s “Community Forum” charade
  2. Concerned Citizens of East Ramapo to hold campaign kickoff at RCC
  3. Rockland Community College to Hold Public Forums on the Future of Educational Assessment
  4. “East Ramapo Underground” Spring Break Edition
  5. Message from the Editor
1) Students refuse to participate in Dr. Klein’s “Community Forum” charade
Dr. Klein tried to pull a fast one by producing a “Community Forum” with a pre-selected list of unacceptable cuts for the community to choose from. Students rallied outside prior to the forum, and brought the rally inside to show the board their displeasure at being offered such a crass manipulation.
At the next board meeting, the students came and showed what real community feedback looks like. Dozens of students spoke eloquently about the benefits and opportunities that public education provides. Video is not yet available.
2) Concerned Citizens of East Ramapo to hold campaign kickoff at RCC
Hello Concerned Citizens of East Ramapo.
The public community came much closer last year to winning back the school board. This year, we believe we have the strategy and plans to win, with your help.
We need all of you to help communicate with the voting public so they will be aware of how the school boards fiscal mismanagement is destroying our kids future and our home values.
This effort is dedicated to providing the information that every voter need to know, in a media they are familiar with (postal mail, telephone, social media), so they can make conscious decisions regarding who will represent their interest on the school board.
We have scheduled a meet the candidates and canvassing kickoff meeting on the following date and time:
Date: Wednesday April 11, 2012
Location: Rockland Community College, 145 College Road, Suffern, NY (Faculty Dining Room in the Cultural Arts Bldg.)
Time: 7:00 – 9:00 PM
3) Rockland Community College to Hold Public Forums on the Future of Educational Assessment
Free and open to the public
Ramapo- Parents, educators and students who are interested in the future of educational assessment are invited to participate and share their thoughts during a series of public forums
What: Gordon Commission Forums at Rockland Community College
Where: Technology Center, Ellipse (Rm. 8180)
Parents – Thursday, April 26, 7:00-9:00 pm
What do parents want and need from assessment in education?
HS and College Students – Tuesday, May 22, 2012, 7:00-8:30 pm
What do you seek from educational assessment and testing? What troubles you about contemporary testing practices?
For more information about the work of the Gordon Commission visit www.gordoncommission.org
For additional information about the forums, please call the RCC Office of the President: 845-574-4214 or email: contact@gordoncommission.org
4) East Ramapo Underground Spring Break Edition
Thursday, April 12 on WRCR 1300-AM from 10 to 11 AM
The East Ramapo Underground will cover the issues and discuss the challenges facing the East Ramapo School District.
The show will also stream live over the internet from www.wrcr.com

From your hosts,
Peggy Hatton & Antonio Luciano

5) Message from the editor
Our community has room for people who disagree on important issues. The board and Dr. Klein are trying to craft budget proposals around “wedge” issues, hoping that we will argue among ourselves over how to split up the pie. The sad part is that anyone would think we can be divided so easily. Only the most naive person would respond to these obvious, amateurish manipulations. We are not about to be divided over whether to fund music, or sports or any other programs. The reason we find ourselves in the place we are at is that we are the victims of a “divide and conquer” strategy. We cannot allow ourselves to be manipulated into working against each other. One of the tactics used by those who practice divide and conquer is to create a difficult situation, and then befriend some of the people and help them out. This of course creates resentment between those who do not have control and diverts it from those who do.
We know better now than to fight amongst ourselves.
No teacher is any other teacher’s enemy.
No parent is any other parent’s adversary.
No taxpayer wants to see his neighbor’s property values ruined.
We are all in this together. We will not be reduced to arguing over the crumbs after those sitting at the table have had their fill. We refuse to accept second class status. Each of us has a responsibility to advocate for all the people and programs that contribute to the education of our children and avoid arguing over favorites. We must peacefully and respectfully correct anyone who preaches divisiveness or negativity. We have achieved a lot this year. We have stood up for our rights and as a result are standing toe to toe with the bullies. Now is the time for calm determination. – Steven White, editor

An exciting week

The past week has seen a number of exciting developments! Music students came to the school board meeting to advocate on behalf of music in the schools. The stakeholders made a presentation at the community forum featuring Judith Johnson, retired superintendent of the Peekskill school system. We held a rally and volunteer coordination event at our first get out the vote door to door canvassing. There have been dozens of people signing up for the e-mail list and for this web log. There seems to be a glitch with the ” phone tree” functionality. Please be patient, we will inform you when it is fixed. Onward to May 17!

East Ramapo Stakeholders at Community Forum Tonight

Once a year the district holds a community forum where groups such as the PTA, staff members, and community groups such as the Stakeholders can present their views. This year the forum will be at the Study Session on Wednesday March 23. The meeting will start at 7:00 PM at 105 S. Madison Ave, in Spring Valley.