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Thread: S New Jersey Funds Hebrew Language School

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    Olympic Champ RYou's Avatar
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    Default S New Jersey Funds Hebrew Language School

    New Jersey approves first publicly funded Hebrew-language school
    By Karen Keller/The Star-Ledger
    September 23, 2009, 2:40PM

    The state has approved New Jersey?s first publicly funded school with a mission of teaching Hebrew, according to a New Jersey Department of Education press release.

    Hatikvah International Academy Charter School of East Brunswick won the green light Wednesday along with seven other charter school proposals. Nineteen applications this year were rejected.

    More......
    http://www.nj.com/news/index.ssf/200...8deaefd95.html

    This is hotly debated decision even among the Jewish community that do not believe the state should be funding this program. Others (as stated in the article) state this application is sham since the school has been operating and teaching religion with a tuition of 13,000 per student, which falls to $0 now.

    My question is, if this school receives state acceptance, then what is there to prevent every catholic prep school from applying on similar grounds. Is teaching latin, the language of the catholic church, grounds for state support?

    The obvious answer is that a catholic school would not qualify since it teaches religion and I don't think they'd be willing to abandon the classes.

    My opposition is solely on the basis the school has taught religion in the past and I question their willingness to discontinue the program.
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    Ancient Arachnid Spider's Avatar
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    Default Re: S New Jersey Funds Hebrew Language School

    Interesting situation. If they in fact do not teach religion and accept students of all faiths, it would appear that there is no legal problem here. I think that they will have to walk a very fine line in order to "offer in-depth study of Hebrew and Hebrew culture” (quote from the cited article) without actually teaching religion. Even if they can stay on the proper side of the line, though, I'm still not sure that it is appropriate for the state to fund a school that focuses on only one ethnicity. Is this a school that is similar to other public schools in every other aspect and additionally offers studies in Hebrew, or is it a Hebrew school that also offers a general curriculum? That's the question. I suspect the latter, in which case the funding is inappropriate.
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    Default Re: S New Jersey Funds Hebrew Language School

    Quote Originally Posted by Spider View Post
    Interesting situation. If they in fact do not teach religion and accept students of all faiths, it would appear that there is no legal problem here. I think that they will have to walk a very fine line in order to "offer in-depth study of Hebrew and Hebrew culture? (quote from the cited article) without actually teaching religion. Even if they can stay on the proper side of the line, though, I'm still not sure that it is appropriate for the state to fund a school that focuses on only one ethnicity. Is this a school that is similar to other public schools in every other aspect and additionally offers studies in Hebrew, or is it a Hebrew school that also offers a general curriculum? That's the question. I suspect the latter, in which case the funding is inappropriate.
    As I understand it, math, science and English must be taught in English. All others (unknown) will be taught in Hebrew. Charters are not required to offer phys. ed. I suppose if s/he doesn't know Hebrew, the child would be at a severe disadvantage that disadvantage grows each year. Acceptance must be by lottery per NJ law. The population that has been attending is composed of children of parents that work in Brooklyn and Manhattan.

    The school had some how qualified as "home schooling" in the past even though the learning center was not in a home, nor were the classes taught by the parents. It never had any state or other accreditation but operated with a "day care" license.

    Given the size of the building and student population classes will likely be like those back on the prairie, multiple ages in the same room, year after year.

    Fundamentally, the school is focusing on the children of a specific sect of a specific religion at taxpayer expense.
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    Ancient Arachnid Spider's Avatar
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    Default Re: S New Jersey Funds Hebrew Language School

    Quote Originally Posted by RYou View Post
    Fundamentally, the school is focusing on the children of a specific sect of a specific religion at taxpayer expense.
    Without knowing all the details about the school and the law, I'd say that that's the problem and I'd object to the funding.
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