Demand Better Leadership

The Power of Ten

Special Edition: Call to Action

If there is one person who is most responsible for the degradation of East Ramapo, it is Aron Wieder. In Nov, 2009, Aron Wieder brought Al D’Agostino to East Ramapo. In June of 2011, the school board majority, led by Aron Wieder chose Dr. Joel Klein  for Superintendent of schools. 

Last year, the majority of the Democrats in the Rockland County Legislature supported the oversight bill offered by Assembly members Jaffee and Zebrowski and Senator Carlucci. Mr. Wieder, as the leader of the Democratic majority, should have carried their message to Albany. Instead, he spearheaded the effort to block the legislation.

The Rockland County Legislature Democrats should not allow Mr. Wieder to continue in a leadership role. His record as Majority Leader is inconsistent with Democratic Party values. He put his own opinions ahead of his duty to his fellow legislators.

There are three Democratic Rockland County Legislators who supported the legislation for a monitor in East Ramapo but have not yet indicated if they will oppose a re-nomination of Mr. Wieder. They are Toney Earl, Aney Paul, and Alden Wolfe.

Please call the Legislature at 845-638-5100 and ask to speak to Toney Earl, Aney Paul, and Alden Wolfe. You may be directed to their constituent representatives.

Leave a message:

Thank you for continuing to support strong oversight for East Ramapo. I am calling to ask you not to vote to approve Aron Wieder as Majority Leader. Mr. Wieder does not support strong oversight for East Ramapo. He does not respect our views and he has failed to represent you as your leader.

Then, E-mail the same message:

Hon. Alden H. Wolfe, Chairman

Hon. Toney L. Earl

Hon. Aney Paul

Thank you,

Steven White
Editor, The Power of Ten


Power of Ten Update

In this edition:

  1. Marching Band Director leads list of massive layoffs!
  2. How much did district pay for sending kids to private school?
  3. Budget vote on June 19
  4. Town Hall Meeting at CEJJES Institute
  5. Message from the editor

1. East Ramapo Announces Massive Layoffs

The board has voted on a program of layoffs which are absolutely unacceptable and irresponsible. Leading the list as the most ridiculous personnel move the board has made since it fired Pedro Santana, They have now voted to layoff Michael E. Smith. For 27 years, Mr. Smith has led the World Famous East Ramapo Marching Band to Championships, Film and Television appearances, and over 600 local events. What kind of school leadership would let go an individual responsible for so much success?

Also receiving layoff notices were BOTH Ms. Esquivel and Mr. Forman of Ramapo High School, and Ms. Greene and Mr. Winfield of Spring Valley HS.

There were dozens of other layoff notices, ALL of which will affect the educational program.

The complete list is available at:

These layoffs are the direct result of choices made by the school board, NOT external financial factors or union contracts.

2. Impact of Non-compliance from NY State Education Dept.

In the last update, we learned that East Ramapo has been forced to post a notice to the community regarding the result of a finding of continuing non-compliance with regulations pertaining to placement of special education students.

We are now stuck footing the bill for these unapproved placements.

It was the school board’s choice to over-rule their own special education committee and NY state regulations. NY State will NOT reimburse these unapproved placements. According to the notice, there were between 86 and 90 such placements over the past two years. Placement in some cases can cost over $90,000 per student!

3. Budget vote on June 19

If you feel that the crass manipulations of the board are making you feel like your vote doesn’t count, take a few minutes when you get home from the poll and WRITE your representative about how you feel AT THAT MOMENT:

NYSED fraud, waste, and abuse line:

Assemblywoman Ellen Jaffee:

Senator David Carlucci:

Governor Andrew Cuomo:

NY State board of Regents:

Rockland Journal News:

Rockland County Times:

4. Town Hall Meeting at CEJJES Institute

Saturday, June 30, 2012 6:00 PM

The CEJJES Institute

5 Cooper Morris Drive Pomona, NY

Donation requested Adults $5 Students Free

What is the future of Education in East Ramapo? What does it mean for our children? What does this mean for the community of color? How do we move forward? If you are an administrator, teacher; educator or just a concerned member of the community we want to hear your voice. Please come out and take part in this very important conversation.

rsvp required to: or 845 362 8610 by June 25th, 2012

6. Message from the editor

The layoffs that were announced this week are unconscionable. Our district has growing enrollment, stagnant teacher salaries, and more students with special needs than other districts in Rockland. Our district receives almost half of its resources from federal and state funding, but more than half of that goes to pay for services to non-public schools. The school board, dominated by members with family and community ties to those schools, chose to send local tax dollars to non-public schools, rather than use them to retain needed staff in the public schools. This is not a pro-taxpayer board. This is an anti-education board. They are being or have recently been investigated by the NY State Attorney General, the NY State Comptroller, The US Department of Education Civil Rights Division, and the NY State Education Department. The investigations come about because of complaints from people like YOU. Please write to your representatives and the other contacts listed above. With pressure, we will achieve a better education for our students and a better balance in our community. – Steven White, editor



This week has seen a lot of action!  Learn all about it at our new web page:

However, we will not get the result that we want on May 17 if each of you does not get active starting today!  What can you do?  Here are the answers:

Contact Michael Miller at and volunteer to be a captain in your area.  All that means is that you will keep track of the volunteers in your area and remind them to finish their work on time.

Contact Sandi Fox at and volunteer to host a House Party to introduce the candidates to voters in your community.  These are really fun!


Another very important thing you need to do is to organize any community groups that you belong to. Especially those of you who are active in your churches or synagogues.  Every congregation should be hearing the date of the vote, the places they should vote, information on how to vote, and why this vote is so important.


Every single voter should get a phone call asking if they need a ride to the polls.  This is of the utmost importance if we are to win on May 17th.


Again, I want to thank all of you who have gotten us this far.  There are certain to be obstacles and setbacks between now and election day; do not be discouraged!  Our community is robust enough to handle this.


Remember, we are a service organization assisting the community members to advocate on each others behalf in a united fashion.  This campaign does not begin or end with us, it is not about us; the community we serve will always surprise with its resiliency!