The Hasidic bloc of voters wields unusual political power in New York City and New York state, because the community tends to vote as a bloc. Rare is the elected official willing to challenge their large stream of public funding for their orthodox religious private schools. The New York Times has written previously about the significant flow of public money to their private schools (more than $1 billion over the past four years), and about the abysmal performance of students in those schools on the rare occasion when they take state tests. Many such schools do not teach in English and do not teach secular subjects, in blatant violation of state law.

The New York Times recently wrote in detail about the misuse of public money collected for special education services in Hasidic schools.

Less than a decade ago, New York City drastically changed the way it provided special education to thousands of children with disabilities.

State law requires cities to deliver those services to students in private schools, even if the government has to pay outside companies to do it. But for years, when parents asked, New York City officials resisted and called many of the requests unnecessary.

In 2014, Mayor Bill de Blasio changed course. Responding to complaints, especially from Orthodox Jewish organizations, he ordered the city to start fast-tracking approvals.

The policy has made it easier for some children with disabilities to get specialized instruction, therapy and counseling. But in Orthodox Jewish religious schools, particularly in parts of the Hasidic community, the shift has also led to a windfall of government money for services that are sometimes not needed, or even provided, an examination by The New York Times has found.

In 2014, New York made it easier for private school students to receive city-funded special education. More than half of legal requests for aid last school year (as of March 14) came from areas with large Hasidic and Orthodox populations.

Dozens of schools in the Orthodox community have pushed parents to get their children diagnosed with disabilities, records and interviews show. At least two schools have sent out mass emails urging families to apply for aid. A third school provided parents with a sample prescription to give their children’s doctors, saying a diagnosis would bring more resources for the school.

Today, at Hasidic and Orthodox schools, which are called yeshivas, higher percentages of students are classified as needing special education than at other public and private schools in New York City, a Times analysis of government data found.

In the fervently religious Hasidic community, where Yiddish is the dominant language, schools focus on teaching Jewish law and prayer, while often providing little secular education in English. The Times found that at 25 of the city’s approximately 160 Hasidic yeshivas, more than half of the students are classified as needing special education. Records show the classifications are routinely justified by citing the students’ struggles with English.

Across all city schools, one in five students is classified as having a disability. There is little research into whether disabilities occur more frequently in the Hasidic community than in others.

With money more easily available, entrepreneurs with few qualifications have made millions providing services in yeshivas. More than two dozen different companies have opened in the past eight years, records show. Some of them now bill more than $200 an hour per student — five times the government’s standard rate — for what is essentially tutoring.

Some companies have been allowed to collect more than $100,000 a year for providing part-time tutoring services to a single student with mild learning challenges, The Times found.

At least 17 companies have employed people with questionable credentials to provide services, often paying them a fraction of the hourly rate that the firms collect from the city. While some companies provide quality services, others rely on programs that quickly churn out graduates with master’s degrees, some of whom are as young as 18.

“There are a lot of kids in the ultra-Orthodox community who have disabilities. The problem is that the community is not serving the students,” said Elana Sigall, a former top city special education official, who now visits yeshivas as a consultant. “They’re accessing tremendous amounts of city resources, but they’re not actually providing special education.”

One of the firms that opened soon after Mr. de Blasio changed the rules, Yes I Can Services, founded by a husband and wife who had scant education experience, now collects tens of millions of dollars a year.

By law, families who want the government to pay a private company to provide services must make their case against the city in a legal proceeding overseen by an impartial hearing officer. But as requests have increased, officials say they have stopped policing them. Families filed nearly 18,000 requests last year — with more than half coming from neighborhoods with large Hasidic and Orthodox populations — but officials waved through most of them.

In all, more than $350 million a year now goes to private companies that provide services in Hasidic and Orthodox schools, The Times found…

“Cases involving nonpublic schools have ballooned so wildly that they have engulfed and hobbled the entire system,” said John Farago, a longtime hearing officer who has overseen thousands of requests. “It’s affected the access to justice of all, and swamped the cases of children who attend public schools.”