Stop the latest racist disaster in East Ramapo schools

The East Ramapo Central School District has been caught in a budget fiasco that threatens the educations and futures of Black and Brown students.

The district mismanaged its finances and recently tried to propose wiping out dozens of staff positions and combine classrooms despite the pandemic, when distancing matters. But the community pushed back.

The truth is, this crisis didn't have to happen. This is the latest outrage in a long, sordid saga of 21st Century Jim Crow education in a broken district. It's past time for the state to truly intervene.

TAKE ACTION – Tell state leaders to investigate the East Ramapo School Board and protect students of color.

Message Recipients:
NYS Education Dept. Commissioner Betty Rosa
Governor Andrew Cuomo
Senate Majority Leader Andrea Stewart-Cousins
Assembly Speaker Carl Heastie

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Your Message

The East Ramapo Central School District is at risk of insolvency and even floated cruel cuts to public schools in the face of a budget fiasco.

The district proposed plans to wipe out dozens of staff positions and combine classrooms despite the pandemic, when distancing matters. Our public school students, almost all Black and Brown, would suffer even more. But the community pushed back and the district has postponed the cuts.

The truth is, this crisis didn't have to happen. This is the latest outrage in a long, sordid saga of 21st Century Jim Crow education in a broken district.

It's past time for the state to truly intervene.

The school board has presided over widening systemic racism. Over a decade ago, the board began devastating cuts to our public schools, which nearly all the district’s Black and Brown students attend. Meanwhile, it increased funds to private schools, attended almost entirely by white students.

The district slashed hundreds of public school positions it never restored. Gutted schools led to plummeting proficiency and graduation rates, and rising dropout rates. Public school buildings fell into disrepair, the district sold valuable property to the white community at a bargain, and students couldn't get enough credits to graduate.

State-appointed monitors have for years raised alarms about financial mismanagement and educational neglect. Even this week, they called the current $30M budget shortfall "dire," suggested it was foreseeable, and demanded immediate action.

We urge you to act NOW to:

1. Investigate school board members and the superintendent who created this current mess and remove anyone who failed to meet their educational obligations to students.

2. Ensure no new cuts that threaten the educations and futures of students of color. The state education commissioner has the power to intervene, and the legislature should grant the commissioner any extra powers needed, while making an emergency allocation to avoid catastrophe for the district's students.

3. Exercise real oversight. The district has shown that it cannot be trusted to represent the needs of students of color.

Thank you,

[First Name] [Last Name]
[Your Address]

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