The following statement by Assemblymember Charles Lavine (D-North Shore, LI) comes after action taken on September 13, 2022 by the New York State Education Department on needed oversight of New York’s private religious schools:
“I make this statement is as a state legislator. This statement is not made in my capacity as President of New York’s National Association of Jewish Legislators nor in my capacity as a member of NAJL’s National Board of Directors.
An investigation by the New York Times into the failures of the teaching methods of some Hasidic schools is a cause of grave concern. On September 13, 2022, the New York State Department of Education adopted a regulatory framework designed to ensure that all New York students will receive the sound education that is Constitutionally mandated. The Times’ article noted that New York law “allows for corporal punishment in private schools, but there are no clear rules regarding its use. Hasidic yeshivas have integrated it into rigid religious instruction.” Corporal punishment in educational settings is abhorrent. I am introducing a bill to outlaw its use. All parents want what is best for our children. Our students must be proficient in math, science, social studies, and English. They must learn in a safe environment. I am confident that New York State is moving in the right direction. As a result, I expect that our private religious school students will receive the secular education necessary to enable them to function in the 21st century.