May 30, 2024
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TEACH NJS Applauds Gov. Christie for Increasing Non-Public School Funding

On Friday, June 26, Governor Chris Christie approved the Secure Schools for All Children Act, an act that provides an unprecedented level of security funding to non-public schools. The passing of this act marks the first new funding line available to New Jersey’s non-public schools in more than 20 years. The approved state budget increases the total funding for non-public schools for technology, textbooks, nursing and security aid by 5 million dollars, which is 22 percent over the original budget proposed by Gov. Christie.

Christie’s approval is met with celebration by the TEACH NJS community. TEACH NJS is a new initiative of New Jersey Jewish day schools and yeshivas, Jewish Federations and OU Advocacy, the nonpartisan public policy arm of the Orthodox Union. The organization was formed in order to help the New Jersey Jewish community become more politically engaged in advocating for their children’s education. Earlier this month, TEACH NJS brought members of the Bergen County Jewish community to Trenton to advocate for these funding bills with state legislators. Through TEACH NJS’ outreach efforts, New Jerseyans from across the state sent thousands of letters and emails to state legislators and the Governor, urging them to support these important bills. Due to this mobilization of the community, the state legislators passed the Secure Schools for All Children Act 78-0.

“We are grateful to all of our TEACH NJS coalition partners, as well as Chabad Lubavitch of New Jersey, the NJ State Association of Jewish Federations, Agudath Israel, and the New Jersey Catholic Conference, for joining us in the effort to push for passage of these critical funding lines for non-public schools,” said Sam Moed, co-chair of TEACH NJS. “Through our community’s efforts, our state’s legislative leadership was influenced to increase the total funding to our non-public schools by more than $5 million—including the new funding line for security—which the governor approved.”

“We also are grateful to Assembly Budget Chairman Gary Schaer. As sponsor of the Secure Schools for All Children Act, he was instrumental in bringing this critical issue for non-public schools to the attention of New Jersey’s legislative leadership. We appreciate his vision and his devotion to the safety of all New Jersey children,” said Maury Litwack, Director of State Political Affairs for OU Advocacy.

However, public schools currently get $138.25 per student, a significant amount more than non-public schools. TEACH NJS hopes to push for even more funding in the future. “This is a start,” said Josh Pruzansky, New Jersey Regional Director for OU Advocacy, in an interview with The Jewish Link. “It doesn’t mean we are stopping; we will keep on pushing to get those numbers up. Everyone is paying taxes so there should be no difference between public and non public schools. Especially after what happened in Charleston, it is important every school, especially religious ones, should feel secure. The buck does not stop here.”

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