TEANECK, NJ – Teach NJ, the leading advocacy organization for New Jersey’s nonpublic school children, applauds the New Jersey Assembly Budget Committee for unanimously passing Assembly bill A.4597 at its hearing in Trenton on Thursday, December 6. This legislation would increase security aid to nonpublic school children in the current school year by $11.3 million. Teach NJ and its statewide coalition partners are particularly grateful to Assemblyman Gary Schaer (D-36), Assemblywoman Lisa Swain (D-38) and Assemblyman Christopher Tully (D-38), who are the primary sponsors of the Assembly bill.
In his testimony at the hearing, Assemblyman Schaer asked fellow lawmakers to help ensure the safety and security of all school children in New Jersey. “As we’re all quite aware, the number of hate crimes in this country have unfortunately increased dramatically,” Schaer said. “The Government’s first role is to protect its citizens from evil forces. These are all New Jersey’s children. We have an obligation to (protect) them wherever they go to school.”
“Every parent deserves the right to have their children learn in a safe environment, regardless of the type of school the child attends,” said Dan Mitzner, Director of State Political Affairs for the Teach Advocacy Network. “We thank Assemblyman Schaer for championing this legislation and are grateful to Assembly Speaker Craig Coughlin and Assembly Budget Eliana Chair Pintor Marin for helping move it forward. We urge full passage of the legislation by both houses and for the governor to sign it into law as soon as possible.”
The companion New Jersey Senate bill (S.3080), whose primary sponsors are Senator Paul Sarlo (D-36), Senator Joseph A. Lagana (D-38) and Senator Vin Gopal (D-11), was passed by the Senate Budget Committee on Monday, December 3.
Currently, public schools are allocated an average of approximately $205 per pupil for security funding while nonpublic schools are allocated $75 per child. The security funding in the proposed legislation would increase the allocation per nonpublic school pupil to $150, closing the growing disparity in how the state funds safety and security for school children.
Teach NJ has been on the front lines of the fight to increase security funding for nonpublic schools, many of which are religious and face a disproportionate threat. The nonpublic school community includes Catholic, Jewish, Muslim, Christian, Seventh Day Adventist and other children who would directly benefit from this aid.
Teach NJ, a division of the Teach Advocacy Network, was founded in 2015 to advocate for equitable government funding for New Jersey nonpublic schools. It has secured an additional $100 million in funding for day schools, which is used to increase security, enhance education and defray higher tuition costs. Approximately 170 day-schools and yeshivas receive support through Teach NJ efforts. For more information, visit https://teachadvocacy.org/newjersey