Rally in Spring Valley for Immigrant Education

On Tuesday night students and residents of the East Ramapo School District came together in Spring Valley to voice their disapproval of recent statements made by Superintendent Joel Klein. According to video from an August 19 school board meeting, Klein stated that the dropout rates in East Ramapo are largely due to the immigrant children that join the schools each year, last year nearly 350 registered. In the video , which is available on YouTube, Klein stated that the students know they will not obtain a diploma, but register for school to obtain language skills and advantages that come with school days, such as lunches. At the meeting it was discussed that East Ramapo is planning a program that will move immigrant students away from obtaining a regents diploma, and teach them English and vocational skills that will help them join the workforce, especially if they have a higher chance of dropping out. About the meeting Klein stated that his comments were taken out of context and the program will be announced with a full presentation designed for the benefit of every student in mind. The district is hoping to receive money from the state as part of Title III which is specifically for immigrant education. At last night’s rally about eighty people met to provide support for the families and students, many holding signs saying “Education Not Discrimination”, and speaking out about personal experiences with education and some asking the district to seek Klein’s resignation.

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