Teach Florida, a project of the Orthodox Union, secured a historic victory for Jewish schools in the 2017-18 Florida state budget, which allocates $654,000 to enhance security in Jewish day schools.
This is the first time that the state of Florida has allocated security funds to Jewish schools, which face urgent security concerns in the face of rising anti-Semitism across the country. Teach Florida helped draft the legislation and advocated strongly for its passage.
Teach Florida also advocated for expanding tax credit scholarships for nonpublic school students. The 2017-2018 budge will increase elementary school scholarships by nearly $500 and high school scholarships by more than $1,000 per student.
“We are extremely grateful to Governor Rick Scott, Senator Lauren Book, Representative Randy Fine, and all the members of the Florida legislature for making security for Jewish schools a priority in this year’s budget,” said Mimi Jankovits, executive director of Teach Florida. “Security is a public good, and we appreciate that Florida’s elected officials have stepped up to help safeguard our students.”
“This is a historic day in Florida,” said Dr. Allan Jacob, chairman of Teach Florida. “Next year, children in Jewish day schools across Florida will be safer and more secure. At the same time, our low-income students, along with the 98,000 low-income students across Florida, will have the financial support they need to attend the middle and high schools of their choice. We are proud to be a supporter of this important program.”
Teach Florida is an association of Jewish day schools and yeshivas, rabbis, community leaders and parents who are working for fair funding of nonpublic schools. Teach Florida is part of the Teach Advocacy Network, a project of the Orthodox Union.