Monday, October 21, 2019

Teach NYS, a project of the Orthodox Union and a leading advocate for equitable funding for New York State’s nonpublic schools, lauded the New York State Legislature’s announcement of an additional $25 million to protect nonpublic schools, daycares and cultural museums at risk of hate crimes, $30 million for STEM education and an increase of $7 million for the Comprehensive Attendance Policy (CAP) and for Mandated Services Reimbursement (MSR). In addition, Teach NYS is pleased that the state will now allow summer camps to join schools in participating in the security grant allocations.

Mass violence has, tragically, become a regular occurrence in our country. Our day schools, yeshivas and camps require greater safety. In 2017, Governor Cuomo announced the creation of New York’s Securing Communities Against Hate Crimes grant funds which awarded millions of dollars in anti-hate grants to protect nonpublic schools, daycares and cultural museums at risk of hate crimes. Teach NYS, working in partnership with our coalition partners, helped create that original program as well as restore the funding in this year’s budget – adding $25 million in security funding for nonpublic schools, daycares, cultural museums and camps in 2019-2020 on top of last year’s total security allocation of $15 million which the schools also received this year.

The Orthodox Union, through its state advocacy operation Teach Coalition, has not only fought for security funding on the national, state and city levels, but has also recently hired full-time staff to provide direct assistance to schools and synagogues in their efforts to apply for state and federal grant funding.

The legislature’s allocation of an additional $30 million towards nonpublic school STEM education is also of great importance (a 100-percent increase as compared to last year). STEM education provides children with skills essential to succeeding in the technologically driven society of tomorrow. STEM spending is highly correlated with students’ eventual earning power, higher education and STEM degrees. In 2017, Teach NYS worked with NYS legislators to launch this first-in-the nation program to reimburse nonpublic schools for the costs of qualified teachers in STEM in grades 3-12. To date, an aggregate $50 million has been awarded to New York’s nonpublic schools for STEM education. 

The state’s allocation of an additional $7 million in CAP and MSR (for a total of $193 million) funding will have a big impact on day school and yeshiva budgets. CAP and MSR, the largest sources of state funds for yeshivas and day schools, are vital funds for operating budgets, including payroll. Reflecting a commitment to ensure that schools receive every possible CAP and MSR dollar, in 2015 Teach NYS hired full-time staff employees to assist member schools in processing claims for this important funding.

“Together, with the support of our partners – including nonpublic schools, parents and even the students themselves – our community has raised our collective voice and advocated respectfully but forcefully for the necessary funding for our schools and children,” said Orthodox Union President Moishe Bane.

“More than 700 people came to our mission in Albany earlier this month and helped make the Jewish community’s voice heard. We encourage more parents, grandparents, teachers and school administrators to get involved because the greater our voice the more we can achieve to benefit our schools. It’s important that people join us and act for our children,” said Executive Vice President of the Orthodox Union Allen Fagin.

“We thank our partners in advocacy, including Agudath Israel of America, the New York State Catholic Conference and the UJA Federation of New York for working with us on behalf of all of New York State’s nonpublic schools,” said Teach NYS Director Maury Litwack.

Teach NYS, a division of the Orthodox Union’s Teach Coalition, was founded in 2013 to advocate for equitable government funding for New York nonpublic schools to increase security, enhance education and defray higher tuition costs. For more information, visit http://teachnys.org.      

 

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