Op Eds & Letters To The Editor

Letter To The Editor: Is This The End Of Mt Vernon’s School District ??????

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New York State is punishing Mt Vernon’s School District for not providing their students with an adequate education in a safe environment.

Charter Schools are designed to provide students with an alternative to failed public school districts. Currently there are two Charter Schools in Westchester County. Amani Charter School, located in Mt. Vernon, and Charter School of Educational Excellence, located in Yonkers. Amani was established in 2011 because education in Mt. Vernon was hemorrhaging. Twenty years later, the hemorrhaging has accelerated. In the next 2 years, two additional charter schools are scheduled to open in Mt Vernon. Besides those two, many more Charter Schools are on the horizon

Entrepreneurs are circling the wagon and are seizing on the huge business opportunity of educating students of the failed Mt. Vernon school district. Parents and State officials are throwing in the towel on Mt. Vernon’s horrendous schools.

For years, parents have flooded the State with complaints about Mt. Vernon Schools. Their children are not learning, and Parents are petrified to send them to Mt. Vernon’s Schools. Most Officials in the district are not listening, and don’t care. Mt Vernon’s school district is required to fund Amani School District and will be required to fund any Charter school that comes online. Under this Administration and Board, Charter schools will increase an astounding 200%. Furthermore, Mt Vernon will soon possess 75% of the county’s charter schools. Shockingly, our City will bear 3 times the number of Charter Schools of Westchester County, combined. The Administration and board have hoodwinked the public about the health of the district. We are in trouble.

Millions of dollars of our taxpayer dollars will be drained from the district’s coffers and pumped into Charter Schools. In other words, the State will mandate Mt. Vernon’s school district to pay Charter Schools to educate students, because they failed to do so. Furthermore, Charter Schools will pluck the brightest and best students from the school district, leaving our district in free fall. There is no clearer sign of a school district’s failure than a state education department forcing them to pay private schools to educate their students. 

The Titanic is sinking and the District Board and Administration are telling the public to ignore the water that is rising over their heads. The high school is dangerous, and south side schools are a mess. Parents are fed up, and State officials are tired of the complaints.  

The distain by this Administration and Board toward their black and brown students are appalling. Racism drives policy in Mt. Vernon Schools. South side elementary schools are neglected. South side elementary students are segregated and barred from crossing the tracks for a better education, in safer buildings. This atrocity does not happen in Eastchester, Bronxville, Scarsdale, etc. Their elementary schools are equally funded.  Mt. Vernon High school is dangerous, and Williams and Parker schools are unsafe. The future of minority children has been obliterated by our district and board’s racism. No Board Member would send their child to Parker, Williams or Mt. Vernon High School. They opt for private schools, Charter schools, north side schools, or pull strings to keep their children away from those schools. That is hypocrisy. The parents in the Parker and Williams district should sue for discrimination. 

How does a multi-Millionaire board member make fun of a hungry mother and 5 desperate children, and keep her position? What elected official in this country has been as insensitive and not forced to resign? Why is she recommending a friend of the ex-head of special ed to audit spending during her tenure? Why did she convince board members not to investigate signed letters from employees who claimed they were forced to change student evaluations? Our most vulnerable children caught hell for years. They did not receive proper services. Where was the money spent, and why is there a coverup? This is outrageous, and hurts everyone, including taxpayers. This same board member is holding meetings to oust a black board member and discuss her child’s employment. Why can only white board member’s husbands speak out without retribution? Why are board members standing by watching racism wreck their community and hurt their fellow neighbors? These are the people we live with. 

Since they took power, this Administration declared war on black workers, parents, students, minority contractors and taxpayers. Our residents and police will have to deal with the aftermaths of uneducated children becoming criminal adults. While Mt. Vernon’s school district is being dismantled by the state, and as Charter Schools prepare to move in, no one is discussing a fix. The urgency of educating minority children is not important in Mt Vernon, so there is no surprise our school district is unraveling. We must and will educate the public. Many groups in the City will come together to help address these concerns.

[Editor’s Note: The author(s) would like to remain anonymous which we will honor. Black Westchester has not independently confirmed the accuracy of the claims in this letter and invite anyone who has information related to this topic to contact us or write a letter to the editor of your own]

AJ Woodson

AJ Woodson is the Editor-In-Chief of Black Westchester and Co-Owner of Urban Soul Media Group, the parent company, Host & Producer of the People Before Politics Radio Show. AJ is a Father, Brother, An Author, Journalism Fellow (Craig Newmark Graduate School of Journalism), Hip-Hop Artist - one third of the legendary underground rap group JVC FORCE known for the single Strong Island, Radio Personality, Hip-Hop Historian, Documentarian, Activist, Criminal Justice Advocate and Freelance Journalist whose byline has appeared in several print publications and online sites including The Source, Vibe, the Village Voice, Upscale, Sonicnet.com, Launch.com, Rolling Out Newspaper, Daily Challenge Newspaper, Spiritual Minded Magazine, Word Up! Magazine, On The Go Magazine and several others.

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