Private Schools Sue New York Education Department Over Classroom Inspections

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Neetu Chandak Education and Politics Reporter
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A group of 11 private schools sued the New York State Education Department (NYSED) Wednesday over a set of guidelines allowing public inspection of private schools.

The New York State Association for Independent Schools (NYSAIS) is leading the lawsuit to prevent private schools from possibly compromising their independence, the New York Post reported Wednesday.

“In delegating oversight authority to local boards of education and superintendents, the NYSED and Commissioner have developed a process that leaves independent and religious schools susceptible to bias, conflicts of interest, and local politicking,” NYSAIS Executive Director Mark Lauria said in a Wednesday statement, obtained by The Daily Caller News Foundation.

Private schools could lose state funding if they do not have “substantially equivalent” education programs, or comparable content and experience, to public schools under the updated guidelines.

This could affect Orthodox Jewish schools, known as yeshivas, which have been criticized for not providing adequate instruction in subjects like English and math, according to The Associated Press.

Pictured are private school kids learning in a classroom. SHUTTERSTOCK/ SpeedKingz

Pictured are private school kids learning in a classroom. SHUTTERSTOCK/ SpeedKingz

“For over 70 years, New York State law has permitted nonpublic schools to determine the type of program that is harmonious with their established mission statements,” Head of School for The Albany Academies Christopher Lauricella said in the statement.

NYSED said to TheDCNF that it “does not comment on pending litigation.” (RELATED: Utah Teacher Taking Heat After Making Fourth Grader Scrub Off His Lenten Ashes)

The first set of inspections will happen during the 2018-2019 school year and all reviews should be completed by Dec. 15, 2021, according to NYSED’s November 2018 statement. School districts would need to revisit schools in their districts every five years after the initial review.

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