Teach PA Advocacy Day in Harrisburg focused on support of Nonpublic Schools
Harrisburg, PA— Two hundred Jewish Day School activists including parents, students, educators and community leaders rallied on the steps of the capitol yesterday, May 2, 2018, as part of Teach PA’s annual mission to Harrisburg. Teach PA is part of the Teach Advocacy Network, a project of the Orthodox Union. The focus of this year’s efforts includes strengthening the Education Investment Tax Credit (EITC) and Opportunity Scholarship (OSTC) programs, as well as pushing for additional security and health funding for nonpublic schools. The EITC and OSTC programs provide over $135 million in aid to K-12 nonpublic schools in Pennsylvania. The two scholarship programs combined provide nearly 1,500 students in Pennsylvania with scholarships to attend Jewish day schools and yeshivas.
“We are so proud to be in Harrisburg with a diverse group of schools from across this commonwealth,” said Arielle Frankston-Morris, Teach PA Director. “This is a demonstration of what our community can do when we work together. There is no question that the Pennsylvania Jewish community is united by this issue and we will continue to advocate for these critical programs that help our parents afford tuition and help our schools stay safe. We are extremely grateful to our elected officials and our partners here for their ongoing support of our schools.”
The lobby day began with dozens of small group meetings with legislators. Teach PA was a sponsor of the “Birthday Rally” organized by Pennsylvania based EITC foundation and advocacy group, REACH Foundation, in celebration of the 17th “birthday” of the EITC program. Jewish day school students from Harrisburg’s Silver Academy led the 800-student rally in the Pledge of Allegiance and were cheered on by the Teach PA delegations from Philadelphia, Pittsburgh, Allentown, Scranton and Yardley. After tours of the capitol, the day culminated with Teach PA’s program in the Capitol Rotunda featuring remarks by Jewish Day School of the Lehigh Valley’s middle schooler, Mikaela Garber, Teach PA Co-Chairman, Elliot Holtz and ended with a keynote address by Representative Mike Schlossberg (D-132). Representative Schlossberg, a day school parent himself, inspired students to stay vocal and active and reiterated his commitment to the EITC and OSTC programs and school safety initiatives.
For more information or to join the Teach PA movement, please contact Arielle Frankston-Morris firstname.lastname@example.org.
ABOUT TEACH PA: Teach PA is part of the Teach Advocacy Network, advocating for equitable funding in nonpublic schools. In collaboration with coalition partners, grassroots activists and community leaders, Teach PA successfully advocated for $254 million last year in aid for scholarships, security funding, textbooks, instructional equipment, and materials in nonpublic schools.
The Teach Advocacy Network operates in New York, New Jersey, Florida, Pennsylvania, Maryland, and California, covering 186,000 children. Teach Advocacy Network is a project of the Orthodox Union.