Teach NJS applauded Governor Chris Christie, Senate President Steven Sweeney, Assembly Speaker Vincent Prieto, Senate Budget Chairman Paul Sarlo, Assembly Budget Chairman Gary Schaer and Senator Peter Barnes for the unprecedented level of security funding allocated to non-public schools in New Jersey’s Fiscal Year 2016 budget, signed by Gov. Christie on Friday. The approval of the Secure Schools for All Children Act, which provides funding to non-public schools for security services and equipment, marks the first new funding line available to New Jersey’s non-public schools in more than 20 years.
The approved state budget also 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.
Teach NJS, 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, was formed to make the New Jersey Jewish community more politically engaged. Teach NJS mobilized the community to urge its state legislators to support the Secure Schools for All Children Act, as well as technology, textbook and nursing funding for non-public schools. 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 also sent thousands of letters and emails to state legislators and the Governor urging them to support these important bills.
“We can never take any available funding for our non-public schools for granted, as was demonstrated through the significantly lower allocations for non-public schools in the original budget proposed by Governor Christie,” said Josh Pruzansky, New Jersey Regional Director for OU Advocacy.
“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. 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,” said Sam Moed, co-chair of Teach NJS.
“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 including Jewish day school and yeshiva families,” said Maury Litwack, Director of State Political Affairs for OU Advocacy.