NYS Education Dept. to hold meetings to develop regulations for substantially equivalent instruction

Posted at 11:58 AM, Oct 27, 2020

NEW YORK (WKBW) — The New York State Education Department announced Tuesday it will hold a series of virtual meetings with stakeholders from the religious, independent and public school communities to gather input on substantially equivalent instruction for nonpublic school students.

There will be five regional virtual meetings which will include public and nonpublic school stakeholders, members of the Board of Regents and Department staff. A sixth virtual meeting will be held to engage current nonpublic students, parents and alumni from across the state.

In July 2019 NYSED proposed regulations that would have public schools oversee private schools in the state, which private schools opposed.

“Given the volume of comments on the July 2019 proposed regulations, the Board recognized the need to re-engage with stakeholders to devise an approach that would be collaborative in nature,” said Vice Chancellor T. Andrew Brown. “The Board and I are committed to leading an educational system where all learning environments, whether public or private, respect and affirm students’ racial, linguistic, cultural and religious identities, and we look forward to hearing the thoughtful input from educational leaders across the state throughout this endeavor.”

“All children, regardless of their race or religious beliefs, deserve access to a high-quality education that will allow them to meet their full potential,” said Interim Commissioner Betty A. Rosa. “As we begin the process of engaging our partners in the field, we anticipate constructive and thoughtful discussions to develop an inclusive framework for determining substantial equivalence for the students of New York State.”

The dates for the five regional meetings and the sixth meeting for students parents and alumni are below.

11/17 2:00-5:00 PM - Rest of State
12/1 10:00AM – 1:00PM - Manhattan, Staten Island & Bronx
12/2 10:00AM – 1:00PM - Long Island & Queens
12/7 10:00AM – 1:00PM - Hudson Valley
12/8 2:00-5:00 PM - Parent, Student, Alumni
12/9 10:00AM – 1:00PM - Brooklyn

"Due to technical limitations, the Department may not be able to accommodate all interested participants in the meetings. Since it is important that the regional conversations represent the perspectives of school leaders in that region as widely and fairly as possible, the Department is seeking nominations of interested individuals who reflect the diversity of the state to participate in the virtual regional meetings. Nominees should have professional experience in elementary or secondary instruction," a release from NYSED states.

To join you can fill out a nomination form here.

NYSED has also developed a survey that will provide it with a list of specific mechanisms that are used in religious and independent schools across the state.

The outcome of the meetings and survey will determine the next steps in the process of developing regulations for substantially equivalent instruction for nonpublic school students.