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


In This Issue:

School Board Meeting Wednesday

February 15 at 7:30
105 S. Madison Ave. Spring Valley

Poetry Slam at Ramapo HS Friday
February 17 at 6:30 PM
Ramapo High School

Official Announcements
This section reserved for official announcements.  No announcements at this time.

School Board Campaign News
The 2012 campaign has begun. Visit http://poweroften.us/new/2012-campaign/ for more information

Message from the Editor
This Wednesday the school board will publicly begin the process of working on next year’s budget.  In the past several years, the process has been a charade, with endless hours of arguing over minutia in public, followed by an announcement of plans which were clearly prepared in private. However, it has been the public’s involvement in this process which has spurred interest from government investigators and the media, and it is important that we all come for at least part of the meeting to show that the students of East Ramapo are not without advocates.

The Poetry Slam on Friday is just one of the amazing events that our students will be presenting during the Spring Semester.  Many of the performances are as good as anything you will see on stage in NYC.  Whether you like sports, theater, music, dance, or all of the above, you will be amazed and entertained by the displays of talent and the exuberance of youth. To truly appreciate what our young people have achieved through the power of public education, you must come out to see them in action.  The Poetry Slam is a great example of how the core curriculum interacts with and is enhanced by the performing arts curriculum. Language, Music Movement, Performance are all one and inseparable. To quote former Assistant Superintendent Pedro Santana- “Our kids are Amazing!!!” – Steve White, editor


In This Issue:

Important School Board Meeting Tonight!

Wednesday, January 18, 2012 7:30 p.m.
105 S. Madison Ave, Spring Valley

Tony Luciano’s YouTube Videos:

Treasurer’s & Budget Status Reports: Bad news! The question that is not asked is, are we broke? Did financial mismanagement by the board finally catch up?
Watch the video here http://youtu.be/oUsX_I4ppZU
Official Announcements

This section reserved for official announcements.  No announcements at this time.

School Board Campaign News
No news at this time.  Website is under construction.

Message from the Editor
The mismanagement of the public school district since the take-over by non-public interests has reached a new low.  Taxpayers invested hundreds of millions of dollars creating a first class educational institution.  That investment has been severely damaged by trustees who consistently undermine the mission of public education.  Our school buildings are in need of repair.  Our bus fleets are in need of repair.  Our schools have been designated “In Need of Improvement” by the state.  Now, we learn that the district’s self-imposed lower-than-austerity budget will fall short and there are not enough funds left to run the schools for the rest of this year.  Could they do any worse if they tried?   – Steve White, editor


In This Issue:

School Board Meeting Wednesday

There will be an informational session on the ESL program.
Wednesday, Dec 6, 7:30 PM
105 S. Madison Ave, Spring Valley

Official Announcements
This section reserved for official announcements.  No Announcements at this time.

School Board Campaign News
The 2012 campaign has begun. Visit http://poweroften.us/new/2012-campaign/ for more information

Message from the Editor
Several years ago, the makeup of the East Ramapo School board changed.  The majority of the members of the school board became people with strong family and community ties to private schools, specifically private religious schools for the ultra-orthodox Jewish community.
Many people were concerned that this school board would use its authority to shift the priorities of the district more toward those schools and the segregated community that they serve.  Others felt that the new board could faithfully serve both communities. Any citizen of the district has the right to run for school board, by law.
Over the years there have been many confrontations over issues such as budget items and school closings. The non-public school members of the public school board have maintained that their main goal is fiduciary responsibility to the taxpayers which necessitates controlling spending.
However, several of their actions have been contrary to that cause:

  • They created a paid position (treasurer) for a close friend, Israel Bier. This job had previously been performed by a district employee at no extra cost.
  • They replaced an attorney for one that cost about 4 times as much per hour.
  • They sold a school (Hillcrest) for a fraction of the appraised value (fortunately the State Education Department halted the sale).  Another school sale (Colton) is being held up by the state for similar reasons after a taxpayer complained that they were selling public property without doing their fiduciary duty to get the best return for the taxpayer.
  • They fired the most effective administrator the district has ever seen (according to staff, students and parents).
  • The latest news is that while many of our buildings are in need of millions of dollars of repairs, the two schools that the board voted to sell to non-public schools were the only ones that the state says need no money for repairs over the next 5 years.
  • One of the most powerful of the non-public school board members, Nathan Rothschild, who was president of the board, has been sentenced to federal prison for fraud involving a real estate transaction for another public agency (he was a fire commissioner).

All of this evidence points to the conclusion that what seemed to be a conflict of interest, is indeed a conflict of interest.  The people most directly affected (students and parents) have tried every avenue available to them to protect the quality of education in the district.  They have written to every elected and appointed official. They have filed formal appeals with the state.  They have raised funds and run coordinated elections bringing out triple the voter turnout of any nearby district.  While there have been some achievements, the underlying problem- conflict of interest- has not been resolved.

– Steve White, editor