OU Advocacy, the non-partisan public policy arm of the Orthodox Union, congratulates the Alef Bet Montessori School for receiving one of Maryland’s Pre-Kindergarten Expansion Grants for the 2014-2015 school year, in the amount of $112,000. Alef Bet’s Pre-K program is one of only three such programs in Montgomery County to be awarded a grant and one of only 24 such programs throughout the state to receive a grant.
As part of the grant, 20 eligible four-year-olds may attend full- or half- day programs.
Since beginning in January 2014, the Maryland office of OU Advocacy worked with Lt. Gov. Anthony Brown and other state legislators to ensure that the state’s Pre-Kindergarten Expansion Act of 2014 would include faith-based schools and that its eligibility requirements would expand to include middle-class families. In March, OU Advocacy-MD convened a meeting between directors of Jewish pre-schools in Montgomery and Howard Counties and the Maryland State Department of Education to discuss the qualifications for participating in the state’s Expanded Pre-K program.
OU Advocacy has long been at the forefront of the nationwide effort to get non-public schools included in states’ Pre-K programs, achieving success in New York and Maryland.
“We are thrilled to have been awarded this grant from the state, which will enable us to offer tuition assistance to many more families and provide a high-quality early education program to many more children,” said Ellie Lichtash, Director of Alef Bet Montessori School. “We are very grateful to OU Advocacy for its commitment to getting faith-based schools included in Maryland’s Expanded Pre-K program. Their persistent advocacy efforts will have a significant impact on our community.”
“We are delighted that Alef Bet Montessori has received one of Maryland’s Pre-K grants,” said Karen Barall, Mid-Atlantic Director for OU Advocacy. “We will continue to work with state legislators to ensure that faith-based schools remain part of the state’s Pre-Kindergarten program and to advocate for additional funding to make this program available for more children.”
For more information about Alef Bet Montessori School, visit www.alefbetmontessori.org.