Orthodox Jewish leaders frustrated with DOE's proposed regulations of private schools

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Some Orthodox Jewish education leaders are frustrated with the Department of Education's plans to have close control over private school curriculums.

In May, the DOE put out a proposal with a set of regulations aimed to ensure all private schools, including yeshivas, provide an education at least as good as their public school counterparts. This stems from a complaint sent to the state back in 2015 that came from a group of 52 yeshiva students and their parents explaining their secular education was minimal at best.

But rabbis say the change is a blatant attack against their religious rights. They say students enter the world with all they need to succeed by studying their scriptures.

Naftuli Moster, founder of Young Advocates for Fair Education, says he agrees with the DOE's planned changes. "I didn't know what a cell was or what photosynthesis was," he says as a former yeshiva student. "And this is true for the vast majority for Chasidic Jews in New York state, and that's unacceptable."

The new regulations state that students must study certain topics like math, science and English and list how much time needs to be spent on those studies.

Moster says many Chasidic yeshivas only provide 90 minutes of secular education in elementary and middle school, and then none in high school.

The deadline for public comment on the proposed education requirements will come to a close on Monday.

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