State boasts of input from “stakeholders” such as YAFFED!
The State Education Department just announced that it is advancing new regulations of private schools, requiring local school districts across the State to conduct periodic and regular inspections of all nonpublic schools to determine whether they are substantially equivalent to the local public schools. If they are not, parents will be directed to enroll their children in different schools and funding for the schools will be cut off. The regulations also require local school districts to assess all those who teach at nonpublic schools.
This is the State Education Department’s third recent attempt to regulate nonpublic school. The first effort was declared illegal by the courts and the second was abandoned after being met with an outpouring of outrage and opposition from all across New York State.
These regulations do provide some yeshivas with a path to equivalence if they are “registered” to administer Regents examinations. This can help those yeshivas that have high school programs, but what about all the yeshivas across New York that don’t go beyond 8th grade. They will be at the mercy of the local school districts.
YWN will continue to update you on this major breaking development. For now, we should all be very concerned about New York’s progressive government seeking to assert its control over yeshivas. Once they get their foot in the front door, who knows how far they will try to go.
Part of the press release reads as follows:
Stakeholder Engagement Process
The Department first released guidance for determining the substantial equivalency of instruction of nonpublic schools in November 2018. In April 2019, a court ruled the Department must undergo a rulemaking process. As such, the Department proposed draft regulations in July 2019, which received more than 140,000 public comments. Given the volume of largely negative comments, in February 2020, the Board of Regents directed Department staff to re-engage stakeholders to inform policy decisions related to the substantial equivalence of instruction in nonpublic schools.
In Fall 2020, the Department conducted six regional stakeholder meetings, which were attended by more than 500 people, to gather stakeholder input on substantially equivalent instruction for nonpublic school students.
In May 2021, the Department released a report with a summary of the feedback at the stakeholder meetings. From Fall 2020 to the present, Department staff held over 20 meetings both virtually and in person with groups representing tens of thousands of students to gather their input and feedback into developing draft regulations. These stakeholders included the Commissioner’s Advisory Council for Religious and Independent Schools, Amish school leaders, local Orthodox Jewish groups, public school leaders, including Superintendents, Young Advocates for Fair Education (YAFFED), Parents for Educational and Religious Liberty in Schools (PEARLS), and many other leaders of interested parties. Feedback from these meetings is reflected in the proposed regulations.
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