State Regulation of Curriculum in Private Religious Schools: A Constitutional Analysis

Aaron Saiger, State Regulation of Curriculum in Private Religious Schools: A Constitutional Analysis, in Yeshivas versus the State of New York: A Case Study in Religious Liberty in Education (Jay Greene & Jason Bedrick eds., Rowman & Littlefield) (2020 Forthcoming)

Fordham Law Legal Studies Research Paper No. 3581837

18 Pages Posted: 22 Apr 2020

See all articles by Aaron J. Saiger

Aaron J. Saiger

Fordham University School of Law

Date Written: April 21, 2020

Abstract

State governments, which closely regulate many aspects of private school operations, often require private and public schools alike to provide instruction in designated subjects. Religious private schools that resist such regulation often raise claims based upon both substantive due process and free exercise. Neither variety of claim precludes states from requiring private schools to adhere to legislatively or administratively determined secular courses of study. But there are limits. State regulation cannot be so all-encompassing that it prevents private schools from meaningfully pursuing their private educational goals, including but not limited to religious goals.

This chapter is part of a book-length treatment of a dispute in New York State between a State Department of Education taking a newly aggressive posture towards curricular regulation and private religious academies serving the state’s rigorously Orthodox (“haredi”) Jewish communities. The chapter uses that conflict to develop its argument. The chapter then considers a distinction between impermissible regulation of private schools’ educational methods and permissible regulation of courses of study. Several of the topics that have been particularly contentious in the conflict between New York and the haredi schools, notably regulation of the language of instruction and of time in class, illustrate how difficult this distinction can be to draw.

Keywords: religious schools; private schools; parochial schools; regulation of religious schools; curriculum; yeshiva; free exercise; First Amendment; substantive due process; educational liberty; school choice

Suggested Citation

Saiger, Aaron J., State Regulation of Curriculum in Private Religious Schools: A Constitutional Analysis (April 21, 2020). Aaron Saiger, State Regulation of Curriculum in Private Religious Schools: A Constitutional Analysis, in Yeshivas versus the State of New York: A Case Study in Religious Liberty in Education (Jay Greene & Jason Bedrick eds., Rowman & Littlefield) (2020 Forthcoming), Fordham Law Legal Studies Research Paper No. 3581837, Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=3581837

Aaron J. Saiger (Contact Author)

Fordham University School of Law ( email )

140 West 62nd Street
New York, NY 10023
United States

Here is the Coronavirus
related research on SSRN

Paper statistics

Downloads
30
Abstract Views
169
PlumX Metrics