Brooklyn Assemblywoman Latrice Walker announced her candidacy for public advocate late last month. Several New York City Housing Authority tenants and local clergy members recently supported her candidacy. Walker said she’s qualified because of her background in law, education and fighting for those less fortunate, and she would give the office of public advocate more legal power.
Walker is not supported by the establishment. The trend seen by voters the last few years shows voters looking for outsiders and candidates willing to not be politically correct and to fight for the people who usually do not have a voice. Voters have also shown an anti-establishment mentality. Walker is not new to the political field after working for Tish James and others for many years but is still considered outside the establishment since she thinks for herself and listens to the concerns of everyday New Yorkers while trying to solve problems. Walker is the first candidate running for public advocate to support yeshiva parents and educators.
Last week, the New York State Department of Education released new guidance to local school districts that require them to review and evaluate all nonpublic schools in the State and imposes on those schools strict requirements that includes a comprehensive secular studies program in their daily curriculum. Education Commissioner MaryEllen Elia said that these new guidelines will be enforced by local school district superintendents who will be visiting every one of the state’s Yeshivas over the next two and a half years and deciding whether they are in compliance with state regulations.
“We want to ensure,” said Elia, “that all students receive the education they are entitled to under the state education law, no matter which school they attend.”
Yeshivos were told they will have to teach more hours than the public school system.
What type of education are New York’s students entitled to by law? That, it seems, is up for interpretation.