New York - Private school parents throughout New York State are heaving a collective sigh of relief today as controversial educational guidelines have been struck down by a New York State Supreme Court judge.
In a decision dated April 17th, Judge Christina Ryba declared regulations announced late last year by New York State Education Commissioner MaryEllen Elia that would have mandated significantly increased secular study hours in all nonpublic schools to be “null and void.”
As previously reported on VIN News (http://bit.ly/2UsfJYO) five yeshivos with a collective history of more than 500 years of Orthodox Jewish education in New York City, Agudath Israel of America, Torah Umesorah and Parents for Educational and Religious Liberty in Schools sued Board of Regents Chancellor Betty Rosa and Elia for overstepping their legal boundaries and infringing on religious freedoms when they issued the guidelines. Two other groups, representing the Catholic school and the secular private school communities, also filed suit in the hopes of having the guidelines rescinded.
In her seven page decision, Judge Ryba said that the guidelines were actually rules which had been implemented in a way that conflicted with New York State Administrative Procedures Act which defines how state agencies develop rules and regulations.
Rabbi Chaim Dovid Zwiebel, executive vice president of Agudath Israel of America, called Judge Ryba’s decision wonderful news, noting that the timing of the lawsuit was hard to ignore. The petition was filed on the first day of the month of Adar, a particularly auspicious time in the Jewish calendar, while the decision was handed down just two days before Passover, a holiday also known by the name Z’man Chayrusaynu, the time of our freedom.
“Freedom has many different manifestations,” Rabbi Zwiebel told VIN News.
Rabbi Dovid Nojowitz, executive director of Torah Umesorah was equally enthusiastic, categorizing the decision as a big win for the Jewish community.
“With G-d’s help, we will be able to continue educating our children in the way that our yeshivos have been noted for,” said Rabbi Nojowitz. “We look forward to creating the next generation of responsible members of the Jewish community.”