ALBANY — The New York State Education Department has proposed regulations on instruction equivalency for students attending nonpublic schools "to ensure that all students receive the education to which they are entitled under the law."

“Every child in New York State is entitled to a high-quality education,” Board of Regents Chancellor Betty A. Rosa said in a news release.

“By proposing these regulations, we are moving through the public process to ensure that students attending nonpublic schools receive substantially equivalent instruction.

"We remain steadfast in our commitment that all New York’s children leave school with the knowledge they need to succeed in life.”

 

COURT RULING

The proposed regulations come in response to a ruling from Albany County Supreme Court that the process must be followed.

Over two years, State Ed "engaged in a deliberative and thoughtful process to develop the guidance issued last year, consulting with numerous stakeholders in both the public school and religious and independent school communities," the release said.

 

PROPOSED REGULATIONS

The upgraded regulations:

• Recommend that new schools be reviewed within three years of operation and that existing schools by reviewed by the end of the 2022-23 school year or as soon as practicable thereafter and regularly thereafter.

• Provide due process to the nonpublic school throughout the substantial equivalency process.

• Focus on providing instruction in subject areas required by law and do not include reference to the state learning standards.

• Allow for integrated curriculum that delivers content by incorporating more than one subject into the content of a course.

• Require LSAs to annually file a list of nonpublic schools subject to their review and commissioner’s review by Sept. 1, 2020, and each Sept. 1 thereafter.

• Require LSAs to file an annual update regarding the status of substantial equivalency reviews by Sept. 1, 2024, and each Sept. 1 thereafter.

State Ed said it "continues to recognize the need for the substantial equivalency review process to be conducted in a flexible and inclusive manner that reflects five core principles that are essential in the review process — objective, mindful, sensitive, respectful and consistent – to help establish a collaborative process between public and nonpublic schools."

 

PUBLIC COMMENT

The proposed rulemaking will be published in the State Register on July 3, and the public-comment period will run through Sept. 2.

It is expected the final regulation will come before the Board of Regents for its consideration this fall.

More information will be available at www.nysed.gov.

“Nonpublic schools are an important part of the educational landscape in New York State,” Commissioner MaryEllen Elia said in a news release.

“With the regulations, we will ensure that all students – no matter which school they attend – have the benefit of receiving the education state law says they must have.

"By following the State Administrative Procedure Act process, we are addressing the court’s concerns.”