Private schools sue over educational inspection plan
Mar 07, 2019 12:00 pm
Rick Karlin is reporting for the Times Union a group of 11 private schools is suing the state Education Department over new rules that require outside inspections to make sure students are meeting curriculum and subject guidelines. The legal action is led by the state Association of Independent Schools and was filed on behalf of all 192 association members and 11 schools from various parts of the state, including The Albany Academies. The association argues the state and its education commissioner have "developed a process that leaves independent and religious schools susceptible to bias, conflicts of interest, and local politicking." Filed in State Supreme Court in Albany County, the action seeks an injunction to stop the Education Department from moving forward with its plan to have local public school boards survey non-public schools in their communities to ensure that they offer substantially equivalent educations. Earlier in the year, operators of Jewish Orthodox schools, as well as Catholic schools, both said they would not allow the outside inspectors to conduct the surveys, citing the principle of church-state separation as one of their concerns. If a religious or private school does not comply they could lose state funding. Although the schools are typically funded through tuition and other funds, many get some form of public help whether it’s transportation aid, or reimbursement to meet certain state mandates. According to the Association of Independent Schools, there are 1,800 non-public schools in the state of New York. Read the full story in the Times Union.