A judge has reportedly now decided that parents in the state of New York cannot be required to remove their children from private schools in the event that those schools do not meet state-designated standards.
This decision strikes down a key provision of rules that were recently passed to strengthen oversight of such schools, including those that specialize in religious education.
The decision was handed down by a state court in Albany in response to a case that had been filed by ultra-Orthodox Jewish institutions and other advocacy groups about education guidelines that had been implemented the previous autumn.
The state’s 1,800 private and religious schools are required to offer an education that is “substantially equal” to that offered by the state’s public schools in order to remain in operation.
Opponents within the ultra-Orthodox community argue that the laws unfairly target yeshivas, some of which place a significant emphasis on religious education while providing far less tuition in secular disciplines like as English, mathematics, and science.
On Thursday, Judge Christina Ryba dismissed an allegation that the state’s rules violated the Constitution because they were unconstitutional.
Yet, she asserted that state officials had exceeded their jurisdiction by imposing fines on institutions that did not comply with the regulations.
To be more specific, she said that education officials do not have the legal authority to compel parents to remove their children from schools that do not meet the requirements, nor do they have the authority to order that those schools be shut down.
She also stated that education officials do not have the authority to order that those schools be closed.
It was not obvious whether any parts of the verdict will be challenged through an appeal.
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