Today, four Teach NJS parents testified in Trenton before the Assembly Budget Committee on behalf of nonpublic schools.
The four parents highlighted the inequity in state funding for nonpublic schools. While neighboring New York and Pennsylvania invest heavily in nonpublic schools, New Jersey lags far behind. The parents argued for an increase in the 2018 budget, or approximately $500 per nonpublic school student to pay for essential resources and services, like textbooks, technology, security, and nursing aid.
The four parents are:
- Erik Kessler: A resident of Bergenfield, NJ, Mr. Kessler is the director of operations at the Moriah School, where he sends his children.
- Joe Feldman: A resident of Englewood, NJ, Mr. Feldman sends his children to the Moriah School.
- Rachel Ovitz: A resident of Cherry Hill, NJ, Mrs. Ovitz is a parent and marketing director at Politz Day School.
- Ralph Hanan: A resident of Long Branch, NJ, Mr. Hanon sends his children to Hillel Yeshiva School in Deal, NJ.
You can read their full testimony here.
Ralph Hanan said, “Today there are 170 Jewish day schools throughout New Jersey serving over 41,000 students, making Jewish day schools the second largest provider of nonpublic school education in the state. In the Fiscal Year ’18 budget we are requesting nonpublic school funding at a level of $500 per student, which would breakdown as: $150 for nursing aid, $146 for technology aid, $144 for security aid, $60 for textbook aid, all per student numbers. By comparison, neighboring New York and Pennsylvania invest substantially more in nonpublic schools, double or triple that of New Jersey.”
Joe Feldman said, “As a parent, for me, it comes down to two basic principles: one, my child and every child deserves to go to school in a safe environment, and two, nonpublic school students deserve more equitable security funding as public school students. As Ralph said, we are requesting that the legislature and governor increase nonpublic school security funding to $144 per student.”