Power of Ten Update
In This Issue:
1. Yeshiva Vendors Guilty of Fraud
2. Candidate Search Deadline
3. Candidate Forum Feb 29
1) Yeshiva Vendors Guilty of Fraud
According to the Journal News, this week 7 people pleaded guilty to fraudulently obtaining $14 million through a federally subsidized program to provide electronic equipment to East Ramapo yeshivas.
The E-Rate program is a federal program to provide computer and internet services to schools and libraries in poor communities, so that children will not be left out of the Information Revolution simply because of their family’s financial status. It was established by congress so that America will not “have a two-class society in this country, those who know and those who do not.”
For this reason, The New York Jewish Week magazine asked in 2013 “How does a community that rails against the Web pull in $30 million in one year for its schools from the E-rate program?”
Another investigative article by The Forward found there was also a question of funds supposed to go to libraries. According to the Forward “Federal law … holds NYSED responsible for determining a library’s E-Rate eligibility” but NYSED told the Forward that E-Rate eligibility “is handled at the local and regional level”. However, one local agency said it’s “out of our jurisdiction to make those kinds of judgments,” This circular finger-pointing sounds very familiar to those following the issue of educational equivalency for yeshivas.
The NYS Comptroller has released a report that finds that East Ramapo has been paying yeshivas to bus students without documentation that they attend school or even exist.
This is concerning because direct payments to yeshivas aren’t only for busing East Ramapo’s direct payments to religious organizations may have been as high as $33 million last year.
2) Candidate Search Deadline
You probably know someone who would make a great school board member. Someone who cares about education, and has a couple of free evenings each month. Why not give it a try?
The deadline to submit for this year is coming up! Please fill out this questionnaire by February 28.
3) Candidate Forum Feb 29
Every year, at our forum, the public has an opportunity to hear from (and rate) those interested in becoming the newest members of the East Ramapo school board.
Saturday Feb 29 from 12-2 PM at the Hillcrest Firehouse, 374 N Main St, Spring Valley
Please indicate you can attend the events on Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/events/517690282202113/