Wednesday, March 22, 2017
Schools Chancellor Carmen Fariña on Tuesday strongly denied claims that the city is dragging out a probe of yeshivas so as not to upset the politically powerful Brooklyn Hasidic community.
As The Post reported, advocates say dozens of the religious schools aren't teaching secular studies, as required by state law — and they charge Mayor de Blasio with turning a blind eye.
"[Politics] has not even entered our minds," Fariña told reporters at City Hall after testifying at a hearing on the new city budget. "This is not politically motivated. I didn't take this job to do a political job. I took this job to do an educational job."
She said the probe has entered its 19th month because the issue is complicated — including witnesses testifying about the education they received as long as 20 years ago.
She wouldn't put a timeline on completing it.
It's not clear why the DOE is interviewing students who are that far removed from graduation.
Fariña also noted that "there are a lot of people very happy with these schools."
At a separate press conference in Brooklyn, Mayor de Blasio also denied giving preferential treatment to the Hasidic community, both on the schools probe and on the city's enforcement of a controversial circumcision ritual during which infants have contracted herpes.
In exchange for the city nixing a parental consent form, the community agreed to identify the mohels involved in all cases of transmission — but has complied in only two of six cases since the deal was struck in 2015.
"There's a full review going on, and it's an objective review, and wherever that leads us, we're going to go forward publicly with it," the mayor said regarding the yeshiva probe.
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