$17 Million Invoiced to NYS Nonpublic Schools – Agudath Israel Informed Additional $108 Million to Be Paid by April 2017


AgudahNonpublic schools across New York State welcomed news that the New York State Education Department (NYSED) has just begun invoicing $17 million in outstanding Comprehensive Attendance Policy (CAP) reimbursement.

CAP is an important component of the Mandated Services program, a program which reimburses nonpublic schools for the cost of certain government mandated school functions. Under CAP, NYS schools take attendance multiple times a day, and follow up on poor attendance patterns.

The supportive logic marshaled by Rabbi Moshe Sherer, late president of Agudath Israel of America, integral to the enactment of the Mandated Services law over 40 years ago, was simple yet powerful. While the government may hesitate to directly fund a sectarian educational institution, there is no constitutional or cogent argument against NYS directly reimbursing a nonpublic school for certain nonsectarian requirements NYS itself had mandated.

But for more than a decade, Agudath Israel and other nonpublic school groups had argued that CAP reimbursements were not made at levels felt equitable. In fact, after years of advocacy, it became clear that, due to budget shortfalls and the use of a flawed formula to calculate CAP reimbursement, the state accumulated a substantial debt to nonpublic schools.

Over the next few weeks, nonpublic schools will be receiving $17 million, covering CAP expenses incurred during the 2005-2006 school year. This payment is the first of several coming in the 2016-17 school year and part of the $250 million appropriation enacted in June 2015 to pay down the debt to nonpublic schools. Schools received $125 million in the 2015-16 school year, and officials at the SED have informed Agudath Israel that they hope to pay the remainder of the second $125 million payment to nonpublic schools by April 2017 (fiscal year end).

Retiring the CAP debt to nonpublic schools has been a longstanding legislative priority for Agudath Israel of America. Mrs. Deborah Zachai, Agudath Israel Director of Education Affairs, said, “We are thrilled that yeshivos will soon be receiving their part of the $17 million for outstanding CAP payments owed to nonpublic schools. These monies, and the remainder of the $250 million appropriation coming later this year, will infuse our struggling yeshivos and other nonpublic schools with much needed and long-awaited funds.”

Yeshivos will no doubt be happy to start the new year with a positive conclusion to this Mandated Services legislative saga!

(Judith Dinowitz – YWN)


  1. And let’s hope and pray that everyone receiving these benefits, do not take advantage of possible poor oversight and scam the system, ruining it for everyone else.

    Scary when you think about it, though we all know it’s got to be said.

  2. Wow, so much negativity on a nice article.. @dr. Uberschnitzel, if you read the article, this money is backpay that was actually *owed* to the yeshivos for the services they have already performed. That means schools basically laid out the money, in some cases for a decade. If anything the scam here is NYS withholding legally required payments!  It’s about time the state made good on its debt, and BH we have organizations fighting for a massive issue I wasn’t even aware of.

    And second: don’t knock every yeshiva when you have no idea what it costs to run one.  NYS state spends nearly 20K to educate each student (Google it).  Yes, public schools may have nicer labs etc., but that is without a dual curriculum and much shorter hours. I assume the writers above live in NY, so they pretty much take for granted that tuition is as low as it is. Did you know that in places like Passaic, Teaneck, Englewood and other NJ cities (Lakewood is an exception) is 14-20k for elementary school? (High school is much more!) The only reason NY schools are so much less is because Agudah has in the past worked largely in NY, so private schools in NY regularly recieve funding, which is what allows for the low tuition.

  3. #6 – I hate paying tuition as much as the next balabos, but #5 makes some good, reasoned points. It’s always easy to blame “the man” but I googled it and #5’s facts are spot on. Here are some more facts: HANC’s FULL ASKING tuition is 11,275 (plus the fees that yeshivos always add). HALB’s is 11,650. That’s no 20K. And the education at HANC and HALB knocks the socks off (almost) any public school, is dual curriculum and includes more after school programs then kids know what to do with.
    Stop kvetching everybody, Agudah does good work.

  4. I would imagine for the same reason that secular prep schools easily charge $30k a year or more. They have standards set far above public schools in terms of academics. These schools generally hire teachers with advanced degrees, field experience,etc., They need nice gyms, labs, arts and sports departments.. And they still have full Hebrew departments to staff as well. They too would have to be even higher if there were no Agudah lobbying on their behalf for years.

  5. Really didn’t hear anyone Kvetch at all in these comments. Just the opposite – just a few comments/questions relative to how the funds are allocated.

    Here’s what I meant in my first comment:

    Happy the Agudah does what they do and have “nada” to Kvetch about. I’m just hoping that none of the schools, and I don’t need to mention any names, don’t take the path with any of the government funds they receive here, as the path they took with the e-rate program.

    We’re well deserving of what the Agudah has pulled off – as long as we don’t try to collect funds for more students in our Yeshivos than there really are.

    And you know that I’m right about that. Sorry to be so candid.