New York Approves Stricter Regulation For Private Schools

New York will now impose stricter regulations on private schools requiring them to teach curriculums that mirror those of public schools.

By Jessica Marie Baumgartner | Published

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Private schools have served parents seeking less government interference in their children’s education for years. These popular education alternatives are often religious-based, promoting the human right to religious freedom. Now, newly passed New York private school restrictions seek to align these school choice options with public school curriculum

This move on religious private schools began after the Board of Regents received complaints from a former student who attended an Orthodox Jewish school in the state. Naftuli Moster claimed that his non secular education in Hasidic Yeshiva left him ignorant in core subjects. This “limited education” allegedly left him unable to attain a proper career other than working in warehouses. 

Those still practicing the religion beg to differ. They have decried Moster as an anti-Yeshiva activist who has gained fame from publicizing his victimhood status. Regardless of this, Moster has succeeded in prompting New York state to regulate private schools more. This is a sensitive subject being that religious freedoms are highly protected by the U.S. Constitution and these new rules are liable to lead to litigation. 

The state law mandates that private schools must substantially teach a similar curriculum to that of public schools. This is a serious point of contention, being that modern public school directives are decided by certain groups for moving away from core class teachings and focusing on identity politics. Across the nation, equity programs are being installed under the Biden Administration’s direction of the federal Department of Education

While student success rates are mainly inspired by a vast knowledge of core class teachings like English, science, and math, public schools are now introducing social and emotional learning practices, while also instituting theories focused on gender and race. Instructing private schools to adopt public education models may be intended to prevent religious schools from ignoring science lessons, but unfortunately, the scientific method has been lacking in public schools for some time. 

Moster’s accounts of his education are alarming. He details that he never learned the words “molecule” or “cell,” and that he and his siblings only received about six hours of math and English lessons each week. Two other Hasidic Jewish private school graduates have come forward to describe similar experiences, but another factor that is not being considered by the New York State Department of Education is the modern rise in antisemitism. 

By publicly attacking religious private schools due to rare instances described by just three New York students, and especially the Hasidic Jewish community, the state is essentially waging a political war against religious education. This is liable to increase hate crimes against Jewish New Yorkers, as well as other religious peoples. How the new regulations are put in place and enforced is not yet clear. 

private schools

For now, religious private school advocates are bracing for the changes. Whether equity programs including gender theory and critical race theory will be forced into these institutions is also unknown. Families who support core classes in private religious education are advised to seek legal action while the ongoing investigation involving the supposed “ultra-orthodox” Jewish schools continues.