Teach NYS, a project of Orthodox Union Advocacy, called for increasing security funding for nonpublic schools from $15 million to $80 million in the wake of rising hate crimes.
According to the New York Police Department, there were 56 hate crimes reported in New York City for the year – compared to 31 crimes during the same time period last year. This increase was partly fueled by an increase in anti-Semitic crimes.
According to CNN, in January of this year, 48 Jewish Community Centers in 27 states and one Canadian province received bomb threats, forcing thousands of children, parents, and seniors to evacuate in winter weather.
Teach NYS has been on the front lines of the fight to increase security funding for nonpublic schools, many of which are religious and face a disproportionate threat.
In 2013, Teach NYS led the fight to include $4.5 million in security funding for nonpublic schools in the SAFE Act. In 2016, Teach NYS successfully encouraged the New York legislature to increase that allocation to $15 million, or $30 per student spread out over New York’s 412,000 nonpublic school students. This year, Teach NYS is asking the legislature to approve $80 million to meet the security needs of the nonpublic school student population.
“Every child deserves to go to school in a safe environment, regardless of the type of school the child attends,” said Maury Litwack, executive director of Teach Advocacy Network. “The latest report from the New York Police Department confirms the rising threat faced by many Jewish schools today. We urge the legislature to meet this threat head on, and make sure all children can go to school in a secure environment.”