Power of Ten Update
Special Edition: Yes, It’s Corruption!
Last Month, The NY Times published a bombshell investigative report on NY State’s failure to protect every child’s right to a quality education:
In Hasidic Enclaves, Failing Private Schools Flush With Public Money
As you can see from the title, the report detailed not only the failure of NY State to guarantee children’s rights, but the success of religious corporations at gaining access to public money that was supposed to support education, without actually providing the education.
One reader of the NY Times article responded with his own personal testimony in an article for “Religious Dispatch” magazine: He writes: “…this story is really about corruption; it’s about the city and state political figures and yeshiva deans who have duplicitously taken money from state coffers without abiding by state regulations, and the politicians who’ve looked the other way to insure a haredi voting bloc. As much as a Hasidic story, this is also a New York story of political malfeasance”
Then, it was revealed in another NY Times article that the U.S. attorney’s office for the Eastern District of New York has uncovered massive fraud at a major NY yeshiva, resulting in an $8 million dollar settlement.
Now, The NY State Education Department has finalized its regulations regarding education in private schools, and has rebuffed NY City’s attempt to turn a blind eye.
The process of trading away children’s education and billions of taxpayer dollars behind closed doors, in the dark appears to be waning. What has changed? It is because once enough light was shed on what was happening, once enough people were aware, informed, and involved, the deals started to go sour. The hero in this story is YOU. All of the work done by activists and organizations has no force unless someone is listening!
But recently, some politicians are openly endorsing turning a blind eye to educational neglect. Lee Zeldin, running for Governor, tweeted that he “strongly” opposes substantial equivalency for yeshivas. Mike Lawler, running for Congress and Bill Weber, for State Senate have also made statements opposing the NYSED regulations. Why are politicians now openly promoting what was once kept in the smoke filled back rooms? It is exactly because efforts to shed light on the covert deals are having an effect!
You can continue to be a part of this positive change by rebuffing the politicians who oppose education on Election Day. You can continue to be a hero for education by telling everyone you know that our society depends on every child receiving the quality education that is their civil and human right. Almost everyone agrees with these principles, and they are included in the NY State Constitution, and yet many children still suffer from educational neglect. Why? Yes, it is Corruption!