Judge rules in favor of plaintiffs who challenged State Ed plan to have public schools evaluate private schools

Published on April 18th, 2019

In a decision dated yesterday and received this morning, New York State Supreme Court Judge Christina L. Ryba granted full relief to plaintiffs (including the NYS Council of Catholic School Superintendents) who had challenged new State Education Department guidance mandating that local public school districts visit and evaluate all private schools. The guidance was challenged in three separate lawsuits (one by Jewish organizations and schools; another by the NYS Association of Independent Schools, as well as individual schools; and a third by the Catholic school superintendents and individual schools). All three challenges were consolidated in oral arguments, which were heard on April 15. Judge Ryba issued her order two days later, striking down the new guidance as null and void.

Judge Ryba found that the “guidance” actually amounted to mandatory “rules,” which were not implemented in compliance with the State Administrative Procedures Act.

Below is a statement from James D. Cultrara, director for education of the New York State Catholic Conference:

“The NYS Council of Catholic School Superintendents is very pleased that the court struck down the State Education Department’s plan to have public schools evaluate private schools. We’ve prided ourselves on going above and beyond state academic standards. Parents have always chosen our schools because of that rigor and they can remain confident in the strength of our schools going forward.”

The decision for the Catholic plaintiff can be read here.