On the heels of the class action lawsuit filed recently against New York State and the East Ramapo School District, a Rockland County assemblyman is set to introduce legislation that seeks to add teeth to a 90-year-old law – which has never been enforced – that requires private schools in New York State to provide their students with a secular education on par with the state’s public schools.
From VIN News by Glen Silver:
LOHUD.com reports that Assemblyman Kenneth Zebrowski (D-New City) said his office had been researching an existing an obscure 1928 law which allows the state to enforce penalties on private schools not offering a legal standard of “substantial equivalence,” but the lawsuit filed by East Ramapo families forced his hand in speeding up the process of writing the bill.
“I don’t think parents or students should have to resort to the courts in order to receive a quality education in New York,” Zebrowski said.
The current 1928 law—-which State Education Department spokeswoman Jeanne Beattie admits has seemingly never been enforced—-holds district superintendents responsible for ensuring that private schools in their district meet state guidelines. Zebrowski’s new bill would transfer that responsibility to the Commissioner of the State Education Department.
Zebrowski’s new law would broaden the available penalties for the commissioner to impose on schools not meeting state guidelines, running from “imposing a corrective action plan within the district” to “permanently revoking a school’s registration and prohibiting it from operating.”