Mayor Bloomberg Launches Free Instructional Tutoring for Yeshiva Students

September 17, 2009

Source: Yeshiva World News


Mayor Michael Bloomberg visited Barkai Yeshiva in Boro Park, Brooklyn recently to celebrate the launch of free instructional tutoring services for nearly 10,000 yeshiva children in New York City through the federal No Child Left Behind Act’s Title I program. For the first time, these yeshiva students will receive free small group remedial instruction in the subjects of reading, writing and math. The annual value of these brand-new services is estimated at $24 million.


The New York City Department of Education worked together with a coalition of several major Jewish organizations, including the Sephardic Community Federation (SCF), UJO of Williamsburg, Agudath Israel, and the Board of Jewish Education, to ensure that yeshivas have the ability to receive these instructional tutoring services from third-party vendors. The need for third-party vendors stemmed from the fact that the teachers’ union contract does not allow teachers the flexibility to accommodate the late afternoon hours of a typical yeshiva’s secular studies program. As a result, thousands of yeshiva children recently began receiving free instructional tutoring services from four different third-party vendors in New York City. 


As part of its effort to give yeshivas the opportunity to avail themselves of federal No Child Left Behind (NCLB) services, SCF policy consultant David Rubel prepared a comprehensive 28-page report for the NYC-DOE in February 2007 entitled “Why Aren’t New York City Yeshivas Receiving Their Fair Share Of NCLB Funds & Services And What Can Be Done To Remedy This Inequity?”


The study found that although the federal NCLB Act requires that all funds get distributed in an equitable dollar-per-pupil eligibility formula for public and private schools, there was substantial evidence that students in New York City’s yeshivas have not benefited from this legislation. The report concluded that 30,000 students in Brooklyn yeshivas are missing out on approximately $48 million each year in Title I services which they are entitled to, but not receiving.


Now some of NYC's yeshivas are benefiting from the NCLB funding.

Updated: Oct. 01, 2009