December 20, 2018 12:09 am at 12:09 am #1648245
New York state dept of education is trying to regulate our yeshivos & impose their curriculum upon us. I have only heard from Agudas Yisroel an objection to this gezeira. Are the MO unaffected or concerned with this serious intrusion into chinuch habonim?December 20, 2018 2:52 am at 2:52 am #1648335
They probably spoke with their lawyers and realized they have little to be scared about.
1. They may be offering already additional time then the right-wing Yeshiva’s do for secular education. So they might be meeting the requirements as is, and even if not, the amount off would likely not be much.
2. Their academic performance levels by all measures (regents, SAT scores, acceptance to college, etc) often place them in the top schools in the State
3. Very few students after graduating ever have to apply for welfare and they are overall self-sufficient.
Taken together, the State would have a very difficult time arguing with them how to educate. Freedom of religion does apply and if the State can’t point to any reason, other then an arbitrary set of guidelines, then the State will likely lose in court if they tried forcing them to do much.
Contrast this to the right-wing Yeshiva’s (especially the few that don’t teach any secular education… the Satmar Rebbe in a recent address, openly said this about his schools).
1. Secular studies is limited to 4 days a week, for 90 minutes to a few hours (depending on the specific school and assuming they actually teach secular studies).
2. Due to lack of secular education, some of the more extreme schools have no academic performance levels to assess them by or they are minimally relevant (e.g. is everyone taking regents, what about the kids who don’t show up to secular studies?)
3. With numerous students in Kollel, even from schools that academics are decent, they still rely heavily on social welfare and many are not self-sufficient. From schools with no secular studies, the amount of people on social welfare are seemingly from the highest levels out there (look at data for New Square, Kiryas Joel, and Yiddish Williamsburg).
On point 3 alone, which is kind of a big deal, the State can justify that since outcomes are not good they have a right to regulate. So Yeshiva’s have much greater reason to be concerned.
Some might argue that the reasons for social welfare are larger families, etc. It really does not matter the reason. Consider a thought exercise. If everyone in the country did exactly what these Yeshiva’s do, then the rate of people on welfare in this country would shoot up and very likely create an unsustainable situation. Hence, even if this is relatively a small part of the overall population it is not a good outcome. I am sure a smart person here could argue my analysis is wrong. It really does not matter. The burden of showing that Yeshiva’s produce good outcomes, is going to rest much heavier on the Yeshivas then on the State. So unless you have very clear and powerful arguments to bring to a judge, the State will very likely be found to have a clear right to regulate. As to the specifics of how to regulate, that might be up for debate.December 20, 2018 10:23 am at 10:23 am #1648483
I don’t believe the MO schools have 5 hours of secular studies per day in the 7-8th grade. Will they just go along with whatever the state decides for them?December 21, 2018 7:27 am at 7:27 am #1648988
Its that the MO will be able to make a strong argument that they’re not neccesary. They’ll have the data to back up high levels of proficiency, high college graduatuon rates, and low welfare usage.December 21, 2018 7:28 am at 7:28 am #1648987
I think its a lack of concern. My kids school is between Modern Yeshish and MO. Bar Mitzva kids need to wear a hat during Davrning in school yet most have TV’s, I’d say all have internet at home, no filters on smart phones, etc.
The reason for lack of concern is the kids would score grades higher than public school kids on testing (my kids already takes standardized testing i believe its called the iowa test. Plus their grduation rates from college and low level of welfare usage. So we dont think they’ll go after these schools as they’d look foolish doing so. And if a lawsuit arose, again the states arguments would look foolish and the schools would have the data to back up that guidelines arent necessary.December 21, 2018 8:09 am at 8:09 am #1649003
If the frummer yeshivos win, the more modern ones are covered. If the frummer ones lose, then the more modern ones can challenge law on different grounds (e.g. that they get better results than the public schools in secular subjects and that therefore the hours requriements are arbitrary and capricious). The frummer yeshivos will have to argue hat, either, 1) their achievement is equal or better than the minimum achievement required in the lowest-performing public schools, 2) that the academic requirements are arbitrary and capricious, 3) the whole concept of government regulation of parochial schools is unconstitutional.December 22, 2018 6:00 pm at 6:00 pm #1649197
The OU was involved in efforts against the requirements.
I happen to agree with part of the law, but strongly disagree with a different part.
If private schools don’t offer enough time studying secular subjects, then they should not be eligible for government funding. I oppose the part where students of these schools would be considered truant.December 23, 2018 12:45 am at 12:45 am #1649369
If private schools don’t offer enough time studying secular subjects
Who defines “enough”?
Why is more success than public schools not good enough to get less than 10% of the funding per student than the public schools get?December 23, 2018 9:08 am at 9:08 am #1649460
DY: If that’s the case, then fine, give them the funding. But what about the schools (mostly chassidic) that don’t outperform the public schools? The schools where the kids come out barely able to read English? I think all their funding should be pulled.
For the schools with no secular education at all (such as Satmar), I think the truancy piece should be enforced as well.December 23, 2018 10:12 am at 10:12 am #1649575
This is a gezeira against all frum schools (particularly boys’ yeshivas). It’s very inappropriate for you to be inserting partisan anti-chassidic politics into this.December 23, 2018 11:15 am at 11:15 am #1649589
@haimy. Where is PEARLS and all the other mouthpieces for the chasdidish community.December 23, 2018 11:17 am at 11:17 am #1649588
Academic levels aside, would you want your competitor evaluating whether you should remain in business, or not? The fact that it is the local school board that is tasked with evaluations, no matter what standards the state wants, creates an inherent conflict if interest. In many districts across the state the local public school is often competing for the same student (and by default the dollars they must alloxate) as private (often catholic) schools. Think local school board in ramapo, lawrence and ither district’s where There us friction. Imagine the conflict of interest, now that the local board can do away with the competition by simply declaring it not up to standard, and shutting it down.December 23, 2018 2:34 pm at 2:34 pm #1649690
The issue of “government funding” is distinct from whether a Torah education meets the requirements for compulsory education. If the government doesn’t fund Jewish schools it means more crowded classrooms, higher tuition and lower pay for teachers. Given the principle of “he who pays the fiddler calls the tune”, it is dubious why we even want the government to pay for Torah education.
If the government requires students to attend secular schools that will indoctrinate them in a secular, anti-Torah, world view, it is a matter of יהרג ואל יעבור and if the Supreme Court uphold it (which I consider unlikely), it would mean the frum Jews would be forced to emigrate. The proposal in New York would result in children from frum homes being removed from those homes to be raised in a Torah environment since that is in the “best interests of the child.” This is therefore not an economic issue, but rather and existential issue.December 23, 2018 2:34 pm at 2:34 pm #1649692
DY, except it was the poor performing chassidish yeshivas that caused this messDecember 23, 2018 2:37 pm at 2:37 pm #1649710
It’s very disturbing that people, in an eis tzarah, want to bash other Yidden instead of coming together.December 23, 2018 2:54 pm at 2:54 pm #1649717
The MO mosdos generally prefer that the State education bureaucrats stay out of decisions on curriculum and time devoted to instruction. However, they also understand the State’s legitimate interest in enforcing minimal standards for schools accepting any form of state financial assistance. If you line up the MO Schools with the Chareidi schools, I suspect the latter will not show up well on average test scores etc. The MO are walking a fine line but at the end, they should stand together with the more frum schools in insisting that the state should NOT impose its views on the frum schools..December 25, 2018 8:56 am at 8:56 am #1651504
from Long IslandParticipant
In Israel, most of the cheders are PRIVATE institutions. What does that mean? It means it does NOT ask, nor accept Government funding, except for basic child rights. Without accepting Government funds they avoid Government intervention.
Perhaps, the yeshivas in the States need to follow the same policy. Just a thought.December 26, 2018 11:46 am at 11:46 am #1652150
This was repeated many times already. Maybe capitalizing the message will help it sink in. THE STATE IS SAYING WE NEED TO FOLLOW THEIR GUIDELINES OR THE KIDS ATTENDING THESE SCHOOLS ARE TRUANT. WHETHER THE SCHOOL IS PARTIALLY GOVERNMENT FUNDED OR NOT DOESN’T CHANGE THIS.
Withholding funding is an additional threat for those that don’t comply. And the Yeshivas are rightfully upset that they are not getting funds towards secular education, yet the state is interfering.
Anecdotally, the so called private schools in Israel probably receive funding for more categories. In NYS it’s basically money for school lunches for those eligible, textbooks, bussing and special ed.December 26, 2018 11:46 am at 11:46 am #1652162
In their view, their schools are up to par and it’s the yeshivas that are under par who should fix it.January 6, 2019 1:11 pm at 1:11 pm #1657755
I went to a pretty yeshivish school elementary school, in 7-8th grade we had 4-5 hours of secular studies every day, and the MO school in the same area had more. when I went to yeshiva it went down to 2 hours a day then none. the more yeshivish schools definitely need more secular studies if kids can’t pass regents, if they can, the gov is getting their money’s worth.January 7, 2019 6:53 am at 6:53 am #1658058
The MO think the law doesn’t effect them because more of their graduates go on to college, but if you look at standardize test scores such as Regents in NY State, you will find that Yeshivas score in the top ten.
Will these guidelines be enforced? The guidelines put the responsibility on the school district to determine if the parochial school meets the standards. Do you really think in Kiryat Joel or in East Ramapo (Monsey) school districts where the majority of school board members send their children to yeshiva, the district is going to say the yeshivas don’t meet the standards?
The group that has the most to fear is the Catholics. If their school are closed down then the students will end up in public school. The public school district has a vested interest to close their schools as each student attending public school increases the public schools annual budget by over $25,000.00, closing a parochial school will increase the district’s budget by millions of dollars.February 1, 2019 7:23 am at 7:23 am #1672279
Abba S: The state doesn’t pay a local school $25k per child to educate them. The school pays $12-15k, and the state reimburses an amount of that (majority from local taxes).
In cases like Lakewood, forcing children to go public would mean that the town would get more funding from the state, and that a $29 million transportation budget to get kids to 140 schools (20,000 routes) would shrink to getting children to maybe 50 schools, each close to a child’s home, at about 3000 routes (assuming 10-15 kids picked up per stop). The budget would be a small fraction of the current total.
Back to the topic. They will not push the MO schools where children do well on the regents. The target will be places like KJ, where there is almost no secular education and the link to poverty/ welfare is high. And honestly, if they are so adamant about not teaching government lessons, they shouldn’t be so quick to take govt funds. I disagree with truancy because they’re getting an education. But I believe the govt wants their education to help them become contributing members of society, so they will force the issue on these Yeshivos.February 1, 2019 9:14 am at 9:14 am #1672316
“In cases like Lakewood, forcing children to go public would mean that the town would get more funding from the state, and that a $29 million transportation budget to get kids to 140 schools (20,000 routes) would shrink to getting children to maybe 50 schools, each close to a child’s home, at about 3000 routes (assuming 10-15 kids picked up per stop). The budget would be a small fraction of the current total.”
Your math is wrong. Any way you slice and dice it or cut it up, if all the Yeshiva kids switched to public school, it would cost the government hundreds and hundreds of millions of dollars more than they currently spend.
Transportation is only a small part of governmental educational costs.
“They will not push the MO schools where children do well on the regents. The target will be places like KJ”
Get your facts straight. The only way they can enforce the “by the book” laws requiring 17.5 hours and teaching evolution, toeiva, and physical ed in KJ, is to equally enforce it in MO schools as well as any other school, like Darchei Torah, that do far better than public schools in Regents and testing despite having only 9 hours of classtime and not teaching many of the required curriculum.
“I disagree with truancy because they’re getting an education.”
You may disagree but the NYS Educational Commissioner said truancy could be invoked.
“But I believe the govt wants their education to help them become contributing members of society, so they will force the issue on these Yeshivos.”
They only want to enforce the “by the book” laws of 17.5 hours, physical ed, toeiva, evolution, etc. If the kids fail the state won’t care as long as they got their technically required curriculum.
EditedFebruary 1, 2019 10:11 am at 10:11 am #1672378
Joseph: you say the state wont care if they fail. How do you know that?February 1, 2019 1:05 pm at 1:05 pm #1672390
funnybone: Most NYC public school kids fail (or don’t even take) the Regents. The state doesn’t penalize anyone for failing. The school has the option of leaving the kid back a grade but there’s no state penalties.February 1, 2019 1:05 pm at 1:05 pm #1672397
This is not something that the liberals would want to do, but if someone were to group by ethnicity, would Yeshiva’s test scores still fair better?
Ashkenazi Jews have the highest IQ’s of any ethnicity; that’s definitely a confounding variable in saying that Orthodox schools have better scores than public schools. Do Jews going to Yeshivas actually perform better than Jews going to public schools? Or, are we just not comparing apples to apples?
Also, for those taking the anti-legislation rhetoric out to its logical extreme, if a governing body is going to have a law forbidding thingermuwhut, it has to define what thingermuwhut is. Same goes here for truancy. There’s no point in an arbitrary law that anyone can get out of because it relies on the honor system. Either be intellectually honest and say you think there should be no truancy laws at all, or admit that they have a common sense responsibility to define what it means to be in school.February 1, 2019 1:05 pm at 1:05 pm #1672402
Don’t worry about the MO, they seem to have no problem producing yungerliet who can learn and earn.February 1, 2019 2:05 pm at 2:05 pm #1672451
Genya: They can earn but not quite learn. At least not if you’re speaking of learn in the Jewish sense.February 1, 2019 2:05 pm at 2:05 pm #1672455
Joseph: do you have any facts to back your claim?February 1, 2019 2:11 pm at 2:11 pm #1672470
funnybone: It is standard knowledge, and nothing controversial, that the government does not financially or otherwise penalize schools whose students are largely failing. This isn’t even under dispute. If the government did penalize for that, most NYC public schools would be penalized.
The law simply requires a certain curriculum. The law doesn’t require that any percentage of students actually pass the courses in that curriculum. As such, the government cannot go above the law and require what the law doesn’t require.February 2, 2019 8:32 pm at 8:32 pm #1672594
@joseph You misunderstood my math. I was discussing busing alone, which would drop significantly. Alternative placement cost (SCHI) would drop as well. The total school budget would jump, probably closer to $18k per child (Toms River is $17k). The local district typically covers 55-58% of that, the state covers about 35-38% more. The rest is federal. Taxes will jump significantly.
My comment about truancy wasn’t a disagreement. It was an opinion. They shouldn’t punish kids who spend longer every day learning than an average public school student.
Finally, they can punish a public school by forcing the state to take over the district. It’s rare, but it happens. And I’m pretty sure Lakewood has been threatened (or at least discussed) for state control. That would not be good.
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