New study underscores pressing need for increasing government security funding
New York, January 10, 2024 – A new study released today reveals a startling 47% rise in average annual security costs for Jewish day schools and yeshivas since October 7, 2023. These spending increases were tied to a surge in antisemitic threats and incidents across the country in the wake of the attacks on Israel and the ensuing war.
The study, conducted by Teach Coalition’s Office of Jewish Education Policy and Research, found that the average Jewish school is now spending $315,943 annually on security, up from $215,560 prior to October 7. Now security expenses represent 2.35% of the average school’s budget, or $854 per student.
“Even before October 7, we see that schools were spending a substantial part of their budget on security,” said Gabe Aaronson, Director of the Office of Jewish Education Policy and Research. “Now we are seeing that number go up by almost half – and as with nearly any spending increase in our schools, the cost is ultimately borne by parents.”
These findings underscore the urgent need for greater government security funding to protect vulnerable institutions. In October, Teach Coalition, a division of the Orthodox Union that advocates for government funding and resources for nonpublic schools, launched its security-focused initiative, Project Protect. The initiative has pledged to advocate for $1 billion nationally alongside OU Advocacy in government security funding for Jewish schools and other at-risk nonprofits this year.
“Public safety is the most fundamental responsibility of governments, so it is only appropriate that they help cover the high cost of securing our schools,” said Dan Mitzner, Director of Government Affairs, Teach Coalition. “That is why we are fighting harder than ever for security dollars and resources to ensure our students and communities across the country are safe.”
The Teach Coalition report is based on survey responses from 75 Jewish schools in New York, New Jersey and Florida, which found a dramatic increase in annual security spending, security fees levied on families, and impact on school budgets. The study also found that:
- Larger schools generally spend more on security, while smaller schools spend more per pupil.
- Security guards comprise 66% of security spending by the average respondent.
- 40% of students at responding schools are paying a security fee averaging $367 per pupil.
On October 31, 2023, FBI director Christopher Wray testified to Congress that Jews – who comprise 2.4% of the U.S. population – are now the target of 63% of religiously motivated hate crimes.
The full report can be found here:
About Teach Coalition
Teach Coalition, a project of the Orthodox Union, is a nonpartisan, multi-state, grassroots movement devoted to advocating for equitable funding for nonpublic schools. Teach Coalition works to make nonpublic schools better, safer and more affordable. Teach Coalition advocates on behalf of approximately 90% of Jewish day school and yeshivah students nationwide and counts more than 90,000 dedicated volunteers, activists and subscribers among its supporters.
The Teach Coalition Office of Jewish Education Policy and Research was founded in 2023 to advance Teach Coalition’s public policy advocacy work and the Jewish community’s understanding of the U.S. Jewish education system. Read more at:
Rebecca Zisholtz, Teach Coalition
(646) 459-5167 ext. 35167