Private schools could face closure if they don't follow new state guidelines
Yossi Gestetner, a spokesperson for the Jewish community in Rockland County, says he welcomes the newly announced requirements for classroom curriculum taking shape in the 2018/2019 school year.
The state Education Department updated guidance and resources to ensure every private, independent and religious school is keeping up with the state's public schools. This includes hundreds of yeshivas in Rockland County, seating approximately 27,000 children.
"This is a huge, huge pool of students. It involves hundreds of schools so is it possible that some schools will fall through the crack? Yea, I mean there are some public schools that even fail the public school standards,” says Gestetner.
Besides curriculum around the Jewish faith, Gestetner said yeshivas are very similar to public schools, with classes in critical thinking, mathematics and English. In some cases, he says they may be more well-rounded. He tells News 12 that his 9-year-old son already knows how to speak three languages.
"Most of the day they don't have religious studies. It's not like they're busy talking how Moses came up and down the mountain all day. So, they have a lot of classes and courses which would include mathematical stuff, critical thinking,” he says.
The state Education Department says it respects a parent's right to choose where their children are educated and plans to keep the process collaborative.
Schools that do not meet state expectations will be expected to make the necessary changes to fall in line.