The Union of Orthodox Congregations of America through its Institute for Public Affairs welcomes the passage by the New York State legislature of legislation designed to leave in place the Kiryas Joel Village School District.
The Assembly and Senate passed the bill which permits “any municipality situated wholly within one central school district but whose boundaries are not coterminous with the boundaries of such school district [to] organize a new ‘school district’ whenever required by the educational interests of the community.”
The statute sets forth a range of neutral criteria which must be met in order to qualify for the creation of such a new school district.
“This statute is more broadly drawn than earlier versions that have been held unconstitutional,” said Nathan Diament, director of the OU’s Institute for Public Affairs. “Although we believed that the earlier versions of this legislation were constitutional, this revision will clearly challenge the courts to recognize that just because a generally drawn statute benefits a religious community or religious citizens that does not automatically make it constitutionally suspect. We hope that the endless rounds of litigation can now cease and all of those involved to date can get on with the more important tasks of ensuring that all of the children of New York State are educated properly.”