United Talmudical Academy agrees to pay $300K in state fines for having kids in school without vaccination proof

The Department of Health tells News 12 it reached an agreement last month for United Talmudical Academy to pay $300,000 in fines.

Blaise Gomez

Mar 8, 2024, 9:11 PM

Updated 38 days ago

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A private school in Kiryas Joel has agreed to pay hefty fines to the state for having kids in class without proof of vaccinations.
The Department of Health tells News 12 it reached an agreement last month for United Talmudical Academy to pay $300,000 in fines.
Officials say the private school on Forest Road had more than 120 boys enrolled for more than six months between 2022 and 2023 without documentation of routine vaccines, as required by law.
“Allowing children to attend school without proof of the required immunizations puts lives in jeopardy and undermines the system that exists to protect public health. The Department of Health takes this issue seriously and will investigate and use all enforcement tools at its disposal against those who have been found to have committed such violations,” says Department of Health public information officer Erin Clary.
UTA will have to pay half of the fines immediately and state officials say the balance will be waived if the school can show they are compliant with public health law, according to Clary.
According to state documents in a published report, UTA could have faced fines up to $61 million.
State officials confirm the authenticity of the documents to News 12. They say the department never sought that much but rather identified the maximum penalties the school faced.
News 12 reached out to UTA and their attorney but haven’t heard back.
Children in New York state who attend day care and pre-K through grade 12 must receive all required doses of vaccines, according to the New York State Immunization Requirements for School Entrance/Attendance to attend or remain in school, including all public, private and religious schools, according to DOH. Officials say a medical exemption is allowed when a child has a documented condition that prevents them from receiving a vaccine. As of 2019, non-medical or religious exemptions no longer exist in New York state.
More information on New York’s immunization laws can be found here.


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