HOLLYWOOD, FL—In a visit arranged by Teach Florida, a division of the Teach Advocacy Network, Florida State Senator Lauren Book (D) visited Beth Emet Elementary School in Cooper City Florida on September 5.
Book was the Senate sponsor of Florida’s first ever funding for security hardening in Jewish non-public schools in this year’s budget. $654,000 was allocated to improve security at Beth Emet and Florida’s 35 Jewish day schools.
“I feel really proud to have brought security funding to your school,” said Book in a town hall meeting with 135 students, who were joined by parents, teachers and the Teach Florida board members.
“It is important to be an advocate and use your voice,” Book continued. “Use your voice to help others be safe and advocate for what you believe in.”
With the increase of anti-Semitic activities this past year, the state of Florida granted additional security funding towards its nonpublic Jewish schools. Senator Book’s visit enabled her to interact with real students and staff members protected by the funding, as well as meet with Teach Florida and school leaders to discuss security concerns and funding for the upcoming 2018-19 budget.
“In a democracy you need a voice,” said Dr. Allan Jacob, chairman of Teach Florida. “Teach Florida is the voice of the community for Jewish education and schools. It is an honor to have Senator Book working with us to make safe schools a reality.”
“Times have changed since I went to school,” said Book. “Back then, the policeman at school was there to direct traffic. Today, they are here to guard against serious security threats.”
Beth Emet is the newest Teach Florida member school. Teach Florida and the entire Teach Advocacy Network advocates for fair government funding of Jewish nonpublic schools to give children the best, safest and most affordable education possible. For more information, contact Mimi Jankovits, Executive Director, at firstname.lastname@example.org. (954) 406-6336
Security and Scholarship Wins
Teach Florida, a project of the Orthodox Union, spearheaded the campaign and passage of first time funding of nonpublic school security with the allocation of $654,000 to harden security in the face of increased anti-Semitic incidents. Governor Scott highlighted the allocation in a June visit organized by Teach Florida to a day school in Ft. Lauderdale and another in Orlando where he stressed his support for safe schools for all children and for school choice, while highlighting the state’s strong relationship with its Jewish community.
As long time advocates on behalf of Florida’s tax credit scholarship program for low income students, the largest in the USA, Teach Florida also supported the successful increase in per pupil scholarships, from $5886 to $6354 for elementary students, $6643 for middle school students and $6931 for high school students. These increases will translate into a minimum of $1.7 million more in scholarship revenue for Jewish schools next year.