Press Release: Teach NJ Applauds NJ Governor Phil Murphy’s Proposed Increase of Security Funding to One of Highest in the Country

Teach NJ Applauds NJ Governor Phil Murphy’s Proposed Increase  of Security Funding to One of Highest in the Country

Teaneck, NJ (February 26, 2020) — Teach NJ, a project of the Orthodox Union, has applauded New Jersey Governor Phil Murphy for including, in his FY2021 proposed budget, significant increases to further secure nonpublic schools and other at-risk institutions.

The Governor’s “Budget-in-Brief,” which he released yesterday, calls for a $50 per-pupil and $6.5 million total increase to the Nonpublic School Security Program. At $200 per pupil, New Jersey’s nonpublic school security program would have one of the highest per-pupil allocations in the U.S. Governor Murphy has also proposed a $5 million allocation to the Nonprofit Security Grant Pilot Program, which would represent a $3 million increase.

“Teach NJ would like to thank Governor Murphy for hearing the call of our community to provide the resources our schools and other at-risk institutions need in order to enhance security in an era where we are seeing a tragic rise in anti-Semitic and other violent hate crimes,” said Dan Mitzner, Teach NJ’s director of state political affairs. “In addition, we are incredibly grateful for the leadership of Assemblyman Gary Schaer, who has been a passionate and effective voice on the issue of security funding, as well as our coalition partners, including the New Jersey Catholic Conference, Agudath Israel Across America, the Association of Christian Schools International, and the Council of Islamic Schools in North America.”

The Governor’s proposed budget represents an excellent starting point for funding increases to secure institutions across the state. It is a very positive first step in securing increases at the levels proposed by Assemblyman Schaer earlier this year. The increased funding, if passed, will enable nonpublic schools, houses of worship and other vulnerable nonprofit organizations to upgrade surveillance equipment; increase onsite presence of security professionals; harden targets with bulletproof windows and doors, bollards, and motion sensors; and hold more drills and staff training sessions.

To arrive at this victory, Teach NJ rallied the state’s Jewish community, drafting a letter signed by 150 rabbis urging funding increases in the wake of the devastating local attacks in Jersey City and Rockland County, NY. In addition to the letter, Teach NJ mobilized more than 3,500 community activists who sent emails to leadership in Trenton.

“Our leaders and activists played an instrumental role in appealing to the Governor’s sense of horror at the violence that has shaken us all, his genuine sense of responsibility, and his desire to protect all New Jerseyans at an unprecedent level said Katie Katz, Teach NJ’s executive director. “This was truly an example of community-based action— a coming together of people, both inside and outside of government, who care deeply about protecting nonpublic school children and others.”

About Teach Coalition
Teach Coalition, a project of the Orthodox Union, is at the forefront of the grassroots fight to secure government support for nonpublic schools in North America. This includes increased funding, through grants and allocations, for security enhancements and personnel, STEM education, health and nutrition, and transportation services as well as higher limits on available tax credit scholarships. Teach Coalition currently serves a membership roster of hundreds of schools in six states.