By Valerie Strauss
New York City education officials were denied entry into half of the ultra-Orthodox Jewish schools under investigation over allegations of not providing state-mandated secular education, according to a letter the city schools chancellor sent to state authorities.
The Wednesday letter from Chancellor Richard A. Carranza to New York State Education Commissioner MaryEllen Elia updated an investigation by the city’s Education Department that started in 2015 amid concerns about the education boys were receiving at 39 of the schools, known as yeshivas.
Three years ago, 52 former students and teachers — along with parents of current students — wrote the city education department charging that the yeshivas were ignoring state law. The law requires private schools to provide an education “substantially equivalent” to what is available in public schools. Instead, boys at these schools got little if any education in English and subjects such as science and history. In some cases, attendance in secular education was said to be voluntary.
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