Cuomo Set To Veto Orthodox Special Ed Bill

Report: Move To Expand Funding for Yeshivas Will Be Killed

By Josh Nathan-Kazis

Published July 31, 2012.
  • Print
  • Share Share

A push by Orthodox Jews to ease access to access to public funds for private religious special education programs appears ready to be killed by New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo.

New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo
getty images
New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo

The Wall Street Journal reported Tuesday that Governor Andrew Cuomo would veto a bill that would have allowed some Orthodox children to receive state funding for special education classes in private religious schools.

The Forward reported Monday that the bill, which passed both houses of the New York State legislature in late June, was the result of a meeting between New York State Assemblywoman Helene Weinstein, a Democrat, and representatives of the ultra-Orthodox umbrella group Agudath Israel.

The bill would have introduced new criteria to be considered when public school officials are determining whether to reimburse families for private special education placements, allowing them to take into account the child’s “home environment and family background.”

Critics argued that the vague wording of the bill was designed to allowed Orthodox families to qualify for private special education placements in Orthodox-only schools, and that the law would effectively create a religiously segregated special education system. The bill’s supporters, meanwhile, argued that it would not impact a large number of families, and that it would not only apply to Orthodox Jews.

The bill also would have eased the process of applying for and receiving reimbursements for all applicants.

Though the bill received little attention before its passage it became the target of heavy criticism after the fact. The State School Boards Association, among other education groups, opposed the bill.


The Jewish Daily Forward welcomes reader comments in order to promote thoughtful discussion on issues of importance to the Jewish community. In the interest of maintaining a civil forum, The Jewish Daily Forwardrequires that all commenters be appropriately respectful toward our writers, other commenters and the subjects of the articles. Vigorous debate and reasoned critique are welcome; name-calling and personal invective are not. While we generally do not seek to edit or actively moderate comments, our spam filter prevents most links and certain key words from being posted and The Jewish Daily Forward reserves the right to remove comments for any reason.





Find us on Facebook!
  • The Workmen's Circle is hosting New York’s first Jewish street fair on Sunday. Bring on the nouveau deli!
  • Novelist Sayed Kashua finds it hard to write about the heartbreak of Gaza from the plush confines of Debra Winger's Manhattan pad. Tough to argue with that, whichever side of the conflict you are on.
  • "I’ve never bought illegal drugs, but I imagine a small-time drug deal to feel a bit like buying hummus underground in Brooklyn."
  • We try to show things that get less exposed to the public here. We don’t look to document things that are nice or that people would like. We don’t try to show this place as a beautiful place.”
  • A new Gallup poll shows that only 25% of Americans under 35 support the war in #Gaza. Does this statistic worry you?
  • “You will stomp us into the dirt,” is how her mother responded to Anya Ulinich’s new tragicomic graphic novel. Paul Berger has a more open view of ‘Lena Finkle’s Magic Barrel." What do you think?
  • PHOTOS: Hundreds of protesters marched through lower Manhattan yesterday demanding an end to American support for Israel’s operation in #Gaza.
  • Does #Hamas have to lose for there to be peace? Read the latest analysis by J.J. Goldberg.
  • This is what the rockets over Israel and Gaza look like from space:
  • "Israel should not let captives languish or corpses rot. It should do everything in its power to recover people and bodies. Jewish law places a premium on pidyon shvuyim, “the redemption of captives,” and proper burial. But not when the price will lead to more death and more kidnappings." Do you agree?
  • Slate.com's Allison Benedikt wrote that Taglit-Birthright Israel is partly to blame for the death of American IDF volunteer Max Steinberg. This is why she's wrong:
  • Israeli soldiers want you to buy them socks. And snacks. And backpacks. And underwear. And pizza. So claim dozens of fundraising campaigns launched by American Jewish and Israeli charities since the start of the current wave of crisis and conflict in Israel and Gaza.
  • The sign reads: “Dogs are allowed in this establishment but Zionists are not under any circumstances.”
  • Is Twitter Israel's new worst enemy?
  • More than 50 former Israeli soldiers have refused to serve in the current ground operation in #Gaza.
  • from-cache

Would you like to receive updates about new stories?




















We will not share your e-mail address or other personal information.

Already subscribed? Manage your subscription.