The Orthodox Union Advocacy Center-Teach NYS expressed its appreciation to the New York State Senate for including items in their one-house budget that are extremely beneficial to Jewish day schools throughout New York State.
For the past six months, OU Advocacy has been bringing legislators to Jewish day schools around the state to learn about the Jewish community and encourage greater funding for Jewish education. Throughout March, OU Advocacy has ramped up its efforts even further to include regional missions to Albany to bring our message to the halls of power—including delegations from Long Island, Brooklyn, Manhattan and the Bronx. These efforts have been well received and are reflected in the policy initiatives that the Senate proposed for America’s largest Jewish day school population.
The New York State Senate, chaired by Senate Co-Leaders Jeff Klein and Dean Skelos along with Assistant Senate Majority Whip Martin Golden, Senate Education Chairman John Flanagan and New York City Education Sub-Committee and the Children and Families Committee Chairman Simcha Felder, proposed and passed a budget resolution that includes significant funding allocations for the non-public school community.
Included among the Senate proposals are:
- An allocation of $97 million to Mandated Services Reimbursements (MSR) and $59 million for the Comprehensive Attendance Policy (CAP) – constitutionally-permissible funding streams that go directly to the operating budget of participating non-public schools.
- An allocation of $25 million as the beginning of a payment plan of the arrears for CAP and MSR. The total amount owed to the non-public school community is approximately $200 million. The proposed allocation represents a substantial reduction of the balance owed.
- Language promoting the Energy Parity Act, which OU Advocacy worked with Senator Martin Golden to introduce. This legislation, if passed, will provide discounted electricity rates to all schools throughout New York State.
- The Education Investment Tax Credit, with the income cap set at $500,000. This is the third year the Senate included the tax credit bill in their budget; they will pursue its passage in the final negotiated budget. This program replicates similar programs the OU has been instrumental in advocating for in other states and could provide tens of millions of dollars to yeshivas annually.
Jeff Leb, Director of OU Advocacy-Teach NYS, remarked on the proposed budget, “The non-public school community is grateful to the leadership of the New York State Senate. Senate co-leaders Klein and Skelos have crafted and passed a budget resolution that clearly demonstrates that non-public school students of New York State are a priority. We applaud them as well as Senators Golden, Felder and Flanagan for being true advocates of students and their families—regardless of what school they attend. We will continue to work with the Senate to ensure that the final enacted budget will echo the sentiments of providing resources to the non-public school community.”