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Ultra-Orthodox schools could face pressure under new rules

November 20, 2018

NEW YORK (AP) — Private and religious schools that don’t provide instruction “substantially equivalent” to New York state’s public schools will be threatened with loss of funding for textbooks, transportation and other services under new state Education Department rules.

The guidelines released Tuesday apply to all private schools. But they could have an immediate impact on ultra-Orthodox Jewish schools that critics have accused of providing little or no instruction in secular subjects like English and math.

The New York City Department of Education says six ultra-Orthodox schools, called yeshivas, have refused to let its inspectors in. The department says it will prioritize visiting those schools now.

Yeshiva critic Naftuli Moster, founder of Young Advocates for Fair Education, says the new guidelines will “help continue the dialogue we must have to truly reform the system.”

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