New York lawmakers call for more monitoring of Hasidic schools

Author: Yuvi September 13, 2022 New York lawmakers call for more monitoring of Hasidic schools

On Monday, top New York officials expressed serious concern about the quality of education in Hasidic Jewish private schools, a day after the New York Times reported that many schools only taught elementary English and math and virtually no science or history. Is.

Two Democratic congressmen – House Judiciary Committee Chairman Jerrold Nadler and House Democratic Caucus Chairman Hakim Jeffries – said they had serious concerns, with Mr Nadler saying it was clear that some Hasidic schools were “completely” failed. ,

Mr Nadler, the senior Jewish member of the House, said: “It is the government’s paramount duty to ensure that all children – whether educated in parochial, private or public schools – are provided with a quality education.” Contains a major Hasidic neighborhood. “We have a duty to ensure that the law is enforced for all New York students.”

Mr Jeffries, who represents parts of central Brooklyn, called for “a rigorous investigation to ensure the health and welfare of all children are protected”.

Daniel Goldman, who recently contested the Democratic primary for a new congressional seat, which includes the Hasidic area in Brooklyn, said he expects schools to work to comply with the law, adding that The Times reports “painting a damaging picture of inadequate secular education. One that does not comply with state law.”

At the state level – where politicians regularly court a united Hasidic voting bloc – state Senate Majority Leader Andrea Stewart-Cousin said he was concerned about the lack of secular education in Hasidic schools.

“The allegations in the story are very disturbing and should be addressed,” she said.

State Senator Julia Salazar and Assembly Member Emily Gallagher, both Democrats who heavily represent Brooklyn’s Hasidic Williamsburg, said they were particularly concerned by accounts of corporal punishment in schools and further calls for a ban on such punishments. Will introduce law.

Other leaders, including Governor Kathy Hochul and members of a powerful state education board, showed little willingness to criticize Hasidic schools.

Ms Hochul, a Democrat who has sought to appeal to Jewish voters ahead of this fall’s gubernatorial election, declined to take a position on Hasidic schools. She is leading the polls, but even a year after taking office, continues to build relationships with major groups across the state.

“People understand that this is out of the governor’s purview,” Ms Hochul said at an event in Harlem on Monday.

Mask On: The Preschool and Child Care Center mask mandates are still in effect for low-income families at Head Start. This is affecting enrollment among parents who do not want their children to be masked. Teacher shortage: Although the pandemic has led to an urgent search for teachers in some areas, not every district is suffering from a shortage. There are factors at play here. Test scores: New national test results showed the devastating effects of the coronavirus pandemic on school children, with sharp drops in math and reading scores. AP Classes: A new Advanced Placement course in African American Studies will be offered in 60. This decline occurs in schools, as the debate over how to teach history is becoming increasingly divisive.

Although the State Board of Regents, not the governor, controls the state Department of Education, Ms. Hochul is the most powerful politician in New York and can exert a significant influence on education issues.

For their part, members of the Board of Regents in the discussion on Monday made no mention of the Times report, ahead of an expected vote on new rules that will hold private schools — including Hasidic schools, known as yeshiva. Known in – For minimum academic standards.

Avi Schick, a lawyer who has represented several Hasidic yeshiva, said recently that Ms. Hochul’s chances of being re-elected this November could be threatened by a regent vote, even if the governor did not take a public position on the rules. Are.

Other Democratic New York officials either did not respond to inquiries or declined to comment about Hasidic schools on Monday, including Senator Chuck Schumer, the majority leader; Senator Kirsten Gillibrand; and Representative Sean Patrick Maloney, the head of the House Democratic campaign committee.

New York Republicans, including Representative Lee Zeldin, defended the schools and criticized the Times report. At a campaign event outside City Hall on Monday, Mr Zeldin, who is running for governor against Ms Hochul and is Jewish, suggested that public schools should emulate the “values” of Hasidic schools, not its Adverse.

Other state Republicans said they believe the government should not interfere with private religious education or parents’ ability to choose where their children are educated.

Benin Hamdan, the Republican candidate who challenged Mr Goldman in Brooklyn, said he opposed the state’s rules, taking a shot at the critical race theory. “While public schools are teaching CRT and sexuality, Hasidic schools should continue to have the right to teach Judaism,” she said.

“At my core, I believe that all parents have the right to choose the educational setting they feel is best for their children,” said Mark Martucci, a state senator who lives in New York City. represents a district to the north of K and said that he had visited Yeshivas and was impressed by the students.

In a state where Republicans are largely out of power, the party is expanding its reach to Hasidic voters, who have consistently voted for Democrats in local elections, but in the national race against former President Donald J. Republicans, including Trump, have begun to favor.

Published on Sunday, a Times investigation revealed that Hasidic schools are violating state law by denying basic education to thousands of students. The community operates more than 100 all-boys schools in Brooklyn and the lower Hudson Valley, which have received more than $1 billion in government funding in the past four years alone.

The Times found that schools typically only offer 90 minutes of secular education, only four days per week, and only for boys between the ages of 8 and 12. As a result, students are failing to learn secular subjects at exceptionally high rates. According to state data, more than 99 per cent students who took the standardized test in 2019 failed.

At a news conference on Monday, New York City Mayor Eric Adams said he was “not concerned” about the Times’ findings, but stressed that his administration was continuing its long-delayed city investigation into some Hasidic schools. Had been.

“I’m not going to see a story. I want a thorough investigation. I want an independent review, and that’s what the city has to do. And we’re going to look into that,” Mr. Adams said. The mayor said that any case of child abuse in schools should be reported and investigated.

Over the years, Hasidic leaders have made keeping the government out of schools as their top political priority and have relied on elected officials from their community to help block the rules.

One of those leaders, David Schwartz, a Hasidic district leader in Brooklyn, disputed reports of problems in schools, including the regular use of corporal punishment, saying, “I and my community – thousands of caring parents and teachers – are using unfair means. Going from being paint-brushed because of accounts of some.”

In reporting Emma G. Fitzsimmons, Dana Rubinstein, Grace Ashford and Jeffrey C. Contributed by Mays.

Author: Yuvi

My name is Yuvi, I work as Sub Editor at

13 September, 2022, 4:36 am

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