The NYS Education Department recently released new, proposed Substantial Equivalency Regulations for nonpublic schools. These draft regulations can give unprecedented authority over yeshivos to the local public-school districts, and the curricular requirements can present a serious challenge to the ability of our yeshivos to be mechanech our children according to our mesorah.
The release of these regulations triggers a 60-day public comment period which ends May 31. The last draft of the regulations received an unprecedented 140,000 comments, with the overwhelming majority in opposition. This resulted in an over two year deferral of the regulations, forced NYSED and the Board of Regents to seriously engage with the community in a variety of public and private meetings, and resulted in several positive changes to the regulations. However, the dangers to our yeshiva community remain severe, and we cannot remain silent.
Agudas Yisroel urges everyone to submit comments opposing these regulations. "We cannot allow the government to come in and unreasonably control how and what we should be teaching our children," said Agudah's Executive Vice President Rabbi Chaim Dovid Zwiebel.
"It is imperative that we take this opportunity to make sure that our voices are heard," said Rabbi Yehoshua Pinkus, director of Agudah's Yeshiva Services department. "What the government wants to do to our schools is unacceptable, and we have a chance to stop it."
"We cannot divest our strongly-held principles about how we raise our children. While the state, in response to our comments last time, improved the regulations, they still subject our yeshivos to substantial risk," said Avrohom Weinstock, Agudah's chief of staff. "Our opponents aren't shy about expressing their unsavory opinions about Orthodox Jewish education. Now is not the time to be shy about defending it."
To submit your comment:
Go to: voice.agudah.org; or
Email: firstname.lastname@example.org; or
Text: START to 888.595.1529; or
Call: 888-595-1529; or
Mail: Submission, Agudath Israel of America, 42 Broadway 14th floor, NY, NY 10004