Petition for “Substantially Similar” Education



This petition was forwarded to us and we are putting it out there for signatures.

Since 1897, the compulsory attendance law in New York State has required all children between the ages of six and sixteen to be provided with a program of education. The goal of the law is  to ensure that all children are afforded the opportunity to reach their full potential and not be left in ignorance.  New York also recognizes, as do we, the right of parents to choose the educational setting a child receives their education, whether it be a public or private school.  To guarantee that children who attend private schools have an equal opportunity to succeed and become productive members of society as their public school peers, private schools are required to teach a curriculum “substantially equivalent” to the public schools in the core subjects of English, Science, Math and Social Studies.

Unfortunately, the NY State and its Education Department has been utterly derelict in their responsibilities to see that the  “substantially equivalent” curriculum requirement is enforced and its goals met.  For Governor Cuomo and Commissioner Elia to extol the need for Common Core testing for public school students while willing turning a political blind eye to the fact that the quality of education in core subjects at many private schools is unknown is a gross hypocrisy. To ask public school students to meet ever increasing standards and their teacher to do “more with less” as public school budgets are slashed to provide busing and support to private schools where no metrics for success are applied at all is an outrageous injustice.  To continue to allow private school children to attend schools that provide none of the skills necessary to facilitate them reaching their full potential as independent contributing adults is a waste of their potential and a human tragedy.

The education of children in the core subjects necessary for success as adults should rise above politics and transcend religion; there is no reasonable theological reason a child cannot learn mathematics or the ability to converse with others in the broader community.  We call on the Governor and the Board of Regents to ensure that the taxpayers money on education is well invested by requiring any school which receives taxpayer supported busing and other aid to be annually certified by testing and inspection to be teaching a substantially equivalent curricula at a level comparable to the public schools

This petition will be delivered to:

  • New York State Commissioner of Education MaryEllen Elia





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