For Immediate Release:
Teaneck, NJ (March 16, 2020) – Teach NJ, a project of the Orthodox Union (“OU”), issued a statement today applauding the New Jersey State Assembly for passing, with overwhelming majorities, a bill to establish a technology grant program as well as a bill that provides $20 million to assist schools in covering facility sanitization costs made necessary by the COVID-19 pandemic.
All schools, including nonpublic schools are eligible for assistance from these programs, which were part of a package of 32 bills the Assembly passed today in response to the pandemic. The Assembly’s actions constitute major wins for nonpublic schools on whose behalf Teach NJ has been aggressively advocating for assistance in managing the crisis. Teach NJ, in partnership with Assemblyman Gary Schaer, worked vigorously to make nonpublic school assistance part of any legislative package.
The Bridging the Digital Divide Grant program will reimburse schools for the purchase of technology and technological equipment including, laptops, tablets, and hot-spot access devices for students who do not have the means to purchase these items. The New Jersey Department of Education will allocate the sanitization resources in proportion to the number of students enrolled at each school. In addition to purchasing necessary supplies, schools can use the funds to cover additional personnel costs associated with the cleaning schedule. The bills now await passage in the Senate and Governor Murphy’s signature.
Teach NJ’s executive director, Katie Schlussel Katz, said:
“We are pleased that Trenton has acted swiftly to ensure schools have the resources they need in order to manage an extreme and unplanned-for public health crisis and that nonpublic schools will have access to these critical resources.”
“Families throughout New Jersey are taking unprecedented steps to ensure their own health as well as that of their loved ones and fellow community members. It is important for communities to have peace of mind that their children can continue learning during this period and that facilities will be safe for all students, faculty and staff once schools re-open.”
About Teach NJ
Teach NJ was founded in 2015 to champion equitable government funding for New Jersey nonpublic schools. It has secured an additional $100 million in funding for nonpublic schools, which is used to increase security, enhance education and defray higher tuition costs.