New York, NY – The Orthodox Union (OU) thanked the California state legislature for heeding its call for greater security funding for faith-based institutions and called on other states to follow California’s lead. California recently allocated a $2 million grant for nonprofit organizations to upgrade security in the FY2018 budget.
Teach California and its parent organization, the OU, played a pivotal role in advocating for security funding in California. It helped draft security legislation, testifiedin Sacramento, and activated its grassroots network in support of funding.
The OU has also had success in other states recently, including New York, Florida and Maryland. In New York, the OU helped secure a record breaking $40 million in security funding for nonpublic schools in New York State – the largest security allocation anywhere in the country.
The Orthodox Union called on other state legislatures to follow California’s lead, particularly in New Jersey and Pennsylvania, where the state Teach offices are rallying support for security funding.
In New Jersey, Teach NJS helped pass the first-in-the-state security program for nonpublic schools in 2015. This past year, the state allocated $50 per child for security purposes. Now, Teach NJS is ratcheting up its efforts, urging Gov. Christie and the New Jersey legislature to increase security funding to create parity with public schools. Teach NJS brought Jewish day school parents to testify before the state Assembly and Senate budget committees.
In Pennsylvania, Teach PA created the Safe Schools nonpublic school targeted grant program, which gives funds to nonpublic schools to hire security guards. Now, Teach PA is working with the legislature to expand the program to include the necessary security equipment to keep all children safe.
“The California grant is a tremendous achievement for the Jewish community, and we are very grateful to the legislature,” said Allen Fagin, executive vice president of the Orthodox Union. “This funding will allow California’s Jewish schools and synagogues to make important security upgrades, making a real difference for our children.”
“The OU and its supporters pounded the pavement in Sacramento for months, and we are grateful that the California legislature responded to our urgent request with these funds,” said Mark Bane, president of the Orthodox Union. “All children deserve to go to school in a safe environment, and we urge all states to follow California’s lead.”
“There is much work to be done around the country to make sure Jewish schools have the resources they need in these frightening times to protect our children,” said Maury Litwack, executive director of the OU’s Teach Advocacy Network. “We will continue to work in California to increase funding, but this is an important start to making sure all our children are protected.”