Threatening to get tough (eventually) on schools that don’t teach
SED last week issued new guidelines on how it will enforce requiring non-public schools to offer “substantial equivalency of instruction” — that is, whether they teach basics in secular subjects like English, history, math and science.
The rules give Education Commissioner MaryEllen Elia a hammer: She can deny cash (for transportation, special education and other funding) to schools that don’t teach — and also list their students as not attending a real school, which means trouble for the parents of the “truant” kids.
But getting to the penalty stage may take quite some time. The rules don’t seem to even start any penalty phase until Dec. 15, 2021.
Huh? The Department of Education has (theoretically) been investigating dozens of yeshivas for three years now. Yet last month Schools Chancellor Richard Carranza revealed six high-school-equivalent yeshivas have refused access to DOE’s evaluators. Do those schools get to restart the clock?
Even then, the guidelines call for joint action between the school and SED officials to get a problem school into compliance.
All in all, it looks like New York’s leaders have punted on this issue once again.