By Shimmy Blum
Nonpublic schools across New York State received notices from the State Education Department on Wednesday informing them that they will soon be receiving compensation for their mandated services costs incurred during the 2013-14 school year.
It is anticipated that a total of approximately $84 million in Mandated Services Aid payments will be disbursed, approximately $28 million of which goes to New York’s nearly 400 yeshivos, Bais Yaakovs and Hebrew day schools.
The mandated services program was established by the New York State Legislature in 1974, thanks to the pioneering efforts of Rabbi Moshe Sherer of Agudath Israel of America and other nonpublic school advocates. It covers costs for a variety of government mandated schools functions, including attendance reporting, maintaining immunization records, testing and scoring students on core subjects.
Since the program was enacted, yeshivos have recouped millions of dollars each year for costs they incur in carrying out state mandates.
In a related development, approximately two weeks ago, the State Education Department announced that it will be compensating schools for Comprehensive Attendance Program (CAP) underpayments for the 2007-08 and 2008-09 school years. CAP, a component of mandated services reimbursement aid, requires schools throughout the state to take attendance multiple times during the day and follow up on students’ poor attendance patterns. Jewish schools received approximately $4.6 million in additional funding as a result of the State Education Department recent action, bringing a total of $32.6 million in funding into the yeshivos in a space of a few weeks.
“We cannot overestimate how helpful it is for our community’s struggling schools to receive these significant payments year after year,” says Mrs. Deborah Zachai, Director of Education Affairs. “We all owe an immense debt of gratitude to Rabbi Sherer z”l, and are dedicated to continue his legacy of advocacy on behalf of our children.”