After receiving heavy pressure from radical progressive advocacy groups the New York State Education Department (NYSED) made a crucial decision: Commissioner MaryEllen Elia handed the power to local school boards to veto the right for private schools to operate.
Those school boards can now determine whether private schools provide an education “substantially equivalent to that received in district public schools.” The term “substantially equivalent” refers to specific guidelines that the private schools must meet in order to provide equivalent education. None of those guidelines are about standards, but rather about secular material which must be taught in private schools. In reality the NYSED is attempting to dictate the content and form of secular education in private schools with different value systems.
Jewish educators are hit the hardest by this new change, because they have a distinct set of educational provisions not only in terms of curriculum but also in terms of school hours and unique emphasis they place on each subject. According to Elya Brudny and Yisroel Reisman, two Jewish educators, “The state government now requires private schools to offer a specific set of classes more comprehensive than what students in public schools must learn.”