NEW YORK (VINnews/Sandy Eller) – An Albany appellate court’s reversal of a previous ruling mandating busing for nonpublic school students on days when public schools aren’t in session will have yeshiva parents in the Washingtonville School District doing extra carpools, as well as creating more traffic on local roads.
As previously reported on VIN News (https://bit.ly/3aC60wP), an Albany judge granted a preliminary injunction last August that required the school district to provide busing for approximately 600 Blooming Grove and South Blooming Grove yeshiva students on 21 days when busing wasn’t being provided to public school students.
That injunction was upheld in November, but four appellate judges reversed that ruling last week, saying it would lead to “unreasonable results,” reported the Times Herald Record (https://bit.ly/3muwcMI).
“The Legislature could not have intended to require school districts to transport nonpublic school students in the summer, on weekends, on state or federal holidays or on days when public schools are closed for weather-related or other emergency reasons,” wrote the judges in their decisions.
The school district had yet to provide busing for its yeshiva students on days when public schools were not in session, pending its appeal to the appellate court. The district has seen its nonpublic school population grow considerably over the current school year, with more than 800 students currently attending yeshivas and entitled to busing under state law.
The decision was applauded on social media by Greg Berck, assistance of government relations and associate counsel at the Council of School Superintendents, who categorized it as “a HUGE win!” on Twitter. But members of the yeshiva community had a different point of view of the ruling.
“How is denying kids a bus to school ever a win? How shameful is it, that people that are supposed to be advocating for the best of education, are so hateful that denying bus services to children is a win,” tweeted user Yaakov Jack Kaplan.
“Legal counsel for Council of School Superintendents calls it a ‘HUGE win’ that children will get less education. Is this because he hates education, or because the children are Jews? Either way, think about what ‘HUGE win’ means in this context,” observed Rabbi Yaakov Menken in another tweet.