June 6, 2024
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Linking Northern and Central NJ, Bronx, Manhattan, Westchester and CT

New York State’s $75.5 Million STEM Program Set to Benefit Jewish Day Schools and Students

(Courtesy of OU) The New York State budget recently passed with historic funding allocations for nonpublic schools, including yeshivas and Jewish day schools in New York. The budget includes $470 million for nonpublic school funding, an increase of $90 million from the previous year, and specifically increased the STEM allocation from $73 million to $75.5 million. In a year where security was a major advocacy focus for schools, the state legislature made a point to invest in STEM funding, ensuring that schools will keep investing in the education of all students.

This funding is enhancing education without costing parents more. It has enabled schools like Westchester Hebrew High School (WHHS), for example, to provide more tracks and expand their STEM curriculum. The program impacts schools’ bottom line — teacher salaries — and the results are clear.

“We’ve been able to attract, hire and retain talent that wouldn’t be possible without this funding,” said Tami Stalbow, executive director of WHHS. “As a result, we’re putting A+ teachers in classrooms to teach our students STEM subjects. And I have no doubt that it will pay dividends for years to come.”

The continuity of this funding is thanks to the strong advocacy efforts of Teach NYS, who helped champion this first-in-nation program into existence in 2017. Legislators recognized the importance of STEM education for yeshivas and Jewish day schools in their districts and responded to the collective call for funding. “New York legislators recognize the importance of a well-rounded education no matter where students go to school,” added Stalbow.

In addition to this incredible funding, new Teach NYS partnerships have emerged to offer master’s in education degrees for STEM teachers at participating member schools. Teachers can now earn subsidized graduate degrees through SUNY Empire, Gratz College and most recently, Touro University. The MEd programs will cost from under $10,000-$13,000 each, representing a savings of up to 54% off the regular tuition price depending on the teacher’s chosen program.

The program benefits participating schools as well, since employing member schools will qualify for a partial salary reimbursement from NYSED’s STEM program for each teacher that graduates from any of these programs. Many employing schools will finance these degrees for their STEM teachers. In return, they will collect annual partial salary reimbursements ranging from $20,000-$45,000 for each teacher, enhancing education offerings while bringing in additional revenue.

For more information about this program, visit teachcoalition.org/mastersprograms.

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