Dear Commissioner Elia and Chancellor Tisch,
Last week’s events at the previous East Ramapo Central School District board meeting truly underscore the need for New York State to finally take action and remove certain (if not all) board members from the ERCSD Board of Education. The board has shown time and time again that they will say one thing to the press (e.g., President Yehuda Weissmandl claiming recently on an Albany talk show that he has a good, working relationship with the public school community) and do the complete opposite when it comes to taking action (or in last night’s case, doing absolutely nothing).
The board ignored a two-week-old request to hold meetings in a larger space, as has been done from time to time in the past. With well over 200 people crowding the room, hallways and stairwells, the board illegally held a far-over-capacity public hearing on the new Code of Conduct, with merely two board members present, from 7 – 7:30 p.m. With a growing chorus of public school parents, students and supporters joining around 7:30 p.m., and with cameras from Univision, Telemundo and News 12 rolling, the board conveniently failed to produce a quorum. This is perhaps the sixth time the board has done so in the past year. Given this week’s controversial revelation that the board overspent $2mm in legal fees, one must wonder if this move was orchestrated. A member of the board told me that certain board members had “committed” to show up – yet to his alleged surprise, failed to do so. Is this evidence of a further rift in this troubled board following Juan Pablo Ramirez’s shocking resignation?
How much more evidence must be brought to light before NYSED exerts its power and authority and justly removes this board from office? How much longer do the students need to suffer before someone finally takes action? How many more lawsuits does this board need to lose – and how much more of the public money do they need to waste – before justice is brought to East Ramapo?
If not now, when?
Co-founder – Get Up, Stand Up: East Ramapo