Betsy Combier Speaks Out on the Constitutional Mess Created by Mayoral Control of the New York City Board of Education
Mayor Mike and his sycophants in the NY State legislature suspended the right to vote for the school board from June 30, 2004 to June 30, 2009; the administration is throwing black and hispanic children into suspension prisons or jail as fast as Principals can make up false stories about the kids, and is doing the same to tenured, beloved teachers who sit in rubber rooms doing nothing while young, inexperienced people teach out of licence throughout NYC without any action by Joel Klein - who is not the Chancellor, because he has no contract and is never evaluated by anyone. I challenge you, Mike and Joel, to a debate on where the law, and citizens' rights under the law and US Constitution are?
Six years ago on June 5, 2001, I wrote a grievance about the harm being done to special education children in the public school to which I was elected President of the Parent Teacher Association three times: Booker T. Washington MS 54 located at the corner of 107-108 streets and Columbus Avenue in New York City. Parents in New York City consider this school to be the most segregated school in the New York City public school system. My grievance mobilized the City of New York, the District 3 Board of Education offices and electeds on the Upper West Side, Representatives of the New York state legislature education industry, the Office of Legal Services, and the New York City Law Department headed by Corporation Counsel Michael Cardozo, to turn against me, and not one elected official protested. The City of New York, working with the Corporation Counsel, bullied and lied to the Federal and State Courts and acted in collusion with Supreme Court Judge Marilyn Shafer to indemnify parents at Booker T. and the Principal, as they acted together to lock special education minority children in the basement of the school.
I realized that I, a parent of four children, had no voice in what happened to children in New York City. No one was listening.
Instead, over the past 5 years since Mayor Michael Bloomberg appointed Joel Klein as the alleged "Chancellor" of the New York City school system, we have experienced the complete annihilation of parent involvement and human rights in NYC public schools.
How do Mayor Bloomberg and Joel Klein hurt so many people without being held accountable for their actions? The media, privileged groups/individuals protect them. Joel Klein cannot make any decisions as Chancellor because he has no contract, and no one has any rights.
Mayoral control over the New York City Board of Education seemed like a good idea in 2002,and many New Yorkers, including me, helped campaign for Mike Bloomberg and his takeover. Michael Bloomberg has made a huge mistake in allowing Mr. Klein to pursue setting up the lawless jungle that he has established and is determined to maintain despite city-wide opposition.
He is not alone in making such grave errors, of course. He has had the help of Deputy Mayor Dennis Walcott, and the famous former prosecutor Mr. Joel Klein, who, as anyone on his press list can see (and I am on this list), spends every day going to expensive breakfasts, lunches, and dinners. He was aided by Mr. Joseph Rich, who agreed to the Mayor taking over the NYC BOE and removing all voting rights, and now is testifying in Congress against his former employer, the Department of Justice:
The E-Accountability Foundation
Betsy Combier, President and Editor
July 17, 2007
Joseph D. Rich
Director, Fair Housing Project
Lawyers' Committee for Civil Rights Under Law
1401 New York Ave. NW
Washington, DC 20005
Dear Mr. Rich,
I have just posted an article to my website that discusses the removal of the citizens of New York City from participation in public school education under Mayor Michael Bloomberg and Joel Klein.
The reason for my email to you is the disturbing 80-page document sent to you by Michael Cardozo on or about October 31, 2003, that discusses the new structure established in New York City for the NYC BOE, encouraging the participation of minorities by taking away the voting rights of everyone – ALL citizens over the age of 18 - because, he states, hardly anyone voted for the school board anyway.
The article on the mess created by Joel Klein and Michael Bloomberg, "Editorial: The New York City Department of Education is a Sham and Mike Bloomberg is the Flim-Flam Man" protests this and I would like to know why you approved of what seems to me a violation of the constitutional rights of New Yorkers. Your letter dated March 22, 2007, is revealing in that you protest the injustice of the Department of Justice, just like we protested the injustice of the new NYC Board of Education to you in 2003 by telephone.
I am a parent of four daughters, and I want to vote for people who can represent my views in education. I called you in 2003 before you gave your approval for the new structure and asked you how this new structure could protect me and my right to vote. You told me that this was a good point, and you would get back to me but you never did.
Would you please answer my question now?
Let America Be America Again