New York State Education Department releases guidelines on private school regulations

The guidelines will be used to help determine compliance of Haredi schools

Vishnitz Yeshiva, Williamsburg Brooklyn. Credit: Mo Gelber/Shtetl

Jul 28, 2023 4:05 PM


The New York State Education Department released long-awaited guidelines on Friday for interpreting regulations on private schools. The guidelines will be used to help determine whether private schools, including Haredi Yeshivas, are providing an education “substantially equivalent” to that of public schools.

The guidance “provides practical information on implementing the substantial equivalency law and regulations,” said NYSED spokesperson Keshia Clukey in a statement. “This will ensure that all students receive the quality education to which they are entitled.”

Clukey emphasized the “multiple pathways by which nonpublic schools can demonstrate compliance with the substantial equivalency law,” adding that they are intended in part to “respect the right of parents to send their children to religious and independent schools.

In September, NYSED amended its regulations on substantial equivalency. The guidelines released on Friday will help those tasked with reviewing private schools understand how to interpret these NYSED regulations.

The release of the guidelines is the latest in a saga that dates back to 2015, when the advocacy group YAFFED made a complaint charging that 39 Haredi yeshivas were providing little to no secular education. (The founder of YAFFED is now the CEO and editor-in-chief of Shtetl.) On June 30, the New York City Department of Education said that based on an investigation it conducted, 18 of the schools in that complaint are providing inadequate secular education.

Read more in Shtetl: What’s in the investigations of 18 Haredi schools found to be providing inadequate secular education

Read more in Shtetl: NYC redacted the names of 14 failing Yeshivas. Shtetl has the list.