On Friday, Mayor Bill de Blasio promised serious consequences if four yeshivas continued to bar NYC Department of Education inspectors from their buildings. Now the deadline for scheduling those inspections has passed, but officials are still negotiating with the schools.

“Some dates [for the inspections] have been provided and we're in continuing conversations with the yeshiva representatives,” DOE spokesman Will Mantell said Wednesday.

Asked about the yeshivas still denying access during the Brian Lehrer Show on Friday, de Blasio said most of the dozens of yeshivas in question were working with education officials to improve their curricula.

“A number of them opened their doors and agreed to a corrective plan,” he said. “There are precisely four yeshivas left in all of New York City that are not cooperating. Today is the deadline so my message to them is very clear—time’s up.”

He said if those yeshivas didn’t cooperate, they could lose public funding.

Calls and emails to representatives of the yeshivas and their supporters were not answered.

The current debate dates back to at least 2015, when a group of parents, former students and former teachers filed a complaint expressing “deep concern about the poor quality and scant amount of secular education” at 39 yeshivas primarily located in Brooklyn. The letter said students at those yeshivas generally learned English and math for a total of 90 minutes four days a week from ages 7 to 13—and other subjects such as science and social studies often weren’t taught at all.

Last fall, the state revised its guidelines for all private and religious schools, outlining educational requirements and setting a deadline for inspectors to visit all schools. The guidelines also call for inspections every five years and require officials to work with non-compliant schools on improvement plans. Schools that fail to improve could lose substantial amounts of public funding that covers food, textbooks and transportation for students in non-public schools.

The state held joint trainings for city inspectors and yeshiva representatives in recent months. A state education department spokesman called the trainings “productive.”

But Naftuli Moster, founder and executive director of Young Advocates for a Fair Education (YAFFED), said the investigation has dragged on for too long, with far too few results.

“I think the city should have taken a much tougher approach the minute they realized our allegations seemed to be true, that tens of thousands of children are being denied an education,” he said.

Moster and his group have led the fight for decent secular education in the ultra-orthodox Jewish schools which focus most of their lessons on religious texts. He said the focus on the four holdout schools has distracted from the larger issue, namely what all the yeshivas are doing to improve secular education and on what timeline.

“The state and city have to come down on any school choosing to deny children a basic education,” he said.

Jessica Gould is a reporter in the newsroom at WNYC. You can follow her on Twitter at @ByJessicaGould.