On Thursday, OU Advocacy-NJ continued its series of mini-missions to Trenton with constituents from Cherry Hill. The delegation included leaders from local day schools, synagogues and community organizations.
During the visit, the delegation met with Lieutenant Governor Kim Guadagno, Deputy Assembly Speaker Pamela Lampitt (D-6), Assembly Majority Leader Louis Greenwald (D-6), and Michael Celler, the Jewish Liaison to Governor Chris Christie, as well as Assembly Budget Chairman Gary Schaer (D-36) and Assemblyman Angel Fuentes (D-5). State Senator James Beach acknowledged and welcomed the delegation to Trenton from the Senate Floor.
The delegation spoke candidly with elected officials about the community’s dedication to Jewish education and the need to support viable legislative solutions to help with the day school tuition affordability challenge, such as the special education bill, increasing budget items dollars for technology, nursing and textbook funding, and exploring an educational tax credit.
Currently, New Jersey Jewish day schools receive less than $100 per child in basic services such as technology and nursing. As part of its 2014 legislative agenda, OU Advocacy-NJ seeks to increase that amount as well as help pass a special education bill that will permit district funding for programs and services for special needs students in religious schools and a tax credit program to assist families sending their children to non-public schools.
In the past two years, OU Advocacy-NJ restored funding for technology aid for the non-public school community, increased the amount of nursing aid, and ensured that non-public schools would be included in the joint purchasing agreement between two school districts.
“The advocacy mission was a great success, as we had the opportunity to graciously thank those legislators who have been critical to the progress of our bills, engage with local representatives, and show Trenton that we are an active and involved constituency with important issues,” said Arielle Frankston-Morris, Associate Director of Community Engagement for OU Advocacy-NJ.
OU Advocacy-NJ’s series of mini advocacy missions brings small groups from communities throughout New Jersey to the Statehouse to meet with legislators. The missions provide participants with the unique opportunity to have small, more personalized discussions with their elected officials and give legislators an opportunity to hear about the challenging issues—such as tuition affordability—that is affecting their constituents on a micro level.
To read about the OU Advocacy-NJ mini-mission from Bergen County, click here.