Agudah: NYSED Guidelines – Progress Made is Not Enough

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The New York State Education Department (SED) released today, informally, a correction to their guidelines which threaten the Torah education of our children. It reduced the number of hours of required study per day, in the seventh and eighth grades, from seven hours to 3.5 hours. It also removed the time requirement from the fifth and sixth grades, clarifying that those grades have the same requirements as grades one through four.

While it is obvious to us that in making these changes the State Education Department took note of our concerns and communications to them, as well as those of the 50,000 people who signed a petition directed to them, nonetheless it is clear to us that the guidelines, even after the corrections, are still a problem for those seventh and eighth graders who – in a four-day-per-week schedule – would need 4.2 hours of seat time per day to be in compliance. This is unacceptable to most Yeshivos in New York State.

Notwithstanding today’s developments, we reaffirm that the core problem with the guidance remains: it empowers the state to make curriculum decisions about which subjects must be taught in Yeshivos and Bais Yaakovs, how long they must be taught, and how many hours of the day must be taken away from Limudei Kodesh in order to accommodate these requirements. This is a grave threat to our mesorah.

We continue to insist that, beyond certain minimal basics, decisions about Yeshiva chinuch must be made by the parents of our children and their manhigim, not government bureaucrats. We will continue to do so in our advocacy and legal efforts.

We encourage the greater tzibbur to get involved as well. The Agudah has created a page through which one can easily send a letter to state officials registering our protest about this gross overreach of government power. Please take a moment to be part of this initiative by going to



  1. We cannot let the state dictate any part of our curriculum. Once they can dictate to chasidisher schools to teach history and science they will dictate to litvisher schools which science and history they should teach. In addition they will start telling us who can teach our children. However the main reason we can not let them tell us how to run our schools is, the liberals have one agenda to teach the new 3 Rs. R-evolution (against Hashem) Religion and culture (e.g
    Black history) Rights( gay, repoductive and animal) and

    • The aguda better take the compromise or the state of n y(rabidly antisemetic and antiseptic) will close all of the Yeshiva. This will prompt a mass exodus to n j and Lakewood especially.
      The train has left the station.
      Good bye Columbus.

  2. Where can we sign if we support the State and our angry at hose who wrongly caused fear-mongering and misrepresented the released guidelines?

    • If you’re trying to be funny, you’re not. But you can continue to act like an ostrich in life and keep your head in the sand. You’ll get get very far.

      • Oh the irony (if these guidelines were enforced when you were in school, you’d know what irony is) .
        It is very much you who are burying your head in the sand. Demanding funds but refusing to provide a bare bones education and hoping that it will all just get better

        • Naftuli, just because YOU went off the derech, that doesn’t mean you have to drag everyone else down with you. Don’t be a choteh umachti. It’s okay, keep sinning. You will have to give a din vicheshbon one day.

  3. It is Apukursus, and rewriting of history, to say that the Heiligeh Shvatim, used to work during the day by being shepherds of livestock.
    Yakov Aveinu, who learned Torah in Shem V’eiver for 14 years straight, would never allow his Bochrum to go to work. They all learned in Beis Shem V’eiver full time. Especially Yosef Hatzadik never ever worked, his father was teaching him all day the Torah that he learned in Beis Shem V’eiver including Parshas Egloh Arufa with all its details. Yehuda was a Godol BaTorah he opened up a new Yeshiva in Mitzrayim.

  4. I don’t usually have opinions on such serious matters but I have one now. When did the Agudah become so aggressive. This is Golus you have to role with the punches. Baruch Hashem we got out of this one. Is there no concept of not having the Government resent us? This sounds more like a letter from a Chassidish or Israeli Charedi organization. Life is nuanced, our major and respectable organizations can’t get distracted by the fun of block voting and angry petitioning!

    • Huh?!?!?
      Not wanting the government to be able to control and dictate the curriculum and schedule of private schools is aggressive? !?!?

    • I guess you never heard the many stories of the Chafeitz Chaim going to the Polish government to lobby for the chinuch of Yiddishe kinder and to prevent them from being forced into the army. He didn’t bury his head in the sand and say, sshhh, let’s not make any waves. We’re in galus. Lets just all become frie because the government said so. Such tipshus out of you.

  5. The government has their hands & it’s getting stronger & wider with the influx of more Socialist Democrats flooding the capital.
    The socialist agenda of equality, & funds for the underclass has the freebie programs of section 8, food stamps, college grants, housing & employment grants increasing. Why did we expect to vote & crown the Democrat leadership & now demand “hands-off” our education?

    The title of “Malchus of Chesed” is coming to an end!

    • Remain calm and no one is going to get hurt. What you really should be concerned about is the Dolphins future. It’s certainly looking pretty bleak right now. Yegads. I’m out.


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