HELP SOLVE THE TUITION CRISIS – Act NOW to pass the New Jersey Opportunity Scholarship Act!
S-1872, the New Jersey Opportunity Scholarship Act, passed the New Jersey Senate Economic Growth Committee by unanimous vote in May and is now waiting to be heard by the Senate Budget and Appropriations Committee. We need YOU to keep the bill’s momentum going by urging Senator Paul Sarlo, Chairman of the Senate Budget and Appropriations Committee, to schedule the bill for a hearing so New Jersey families can get the help they need!
Our work on this vital legislation doesn’t end there. A matching bill – A-2810 – has been introduced in the New Jersey Assembly. Urge your Assemblymembers to get the bill going!
Our communities in Elizabeth, Lakewood and Passaic would be among the first districts slated for relief by the bill. However, this bill is the first step in an important direction, and so we encourage our entire constituency to contact your lawmakers about this bill. Remember – the 170,000 students in nonpublic schools save New Jersey taxpayers over $2.75 billion each year.
“This is a moral question. This is a civil rights question,” Governor Chris Christie said on June 22 about the Opportunity Scholarship Act. “And it’s not civil rights for those who vote for me, it should be civil rights for every one of our citizens.”
The Act creates a pilot program whereby corporations can make donations to a scholarship pool and receive a tax credit in return. 25% of the funds would be slated for private school students in districts with chronically failing public schools. The remaining 75% of funds would go to public school students in failing schools. This bill doesn’t pit public and private education against each other – it helps BOTH the public and private school communities.
Similar programs in other states have raised millions of dollars for yeshivas and day schools: Over $12 million in scholarships has been distributed in neighboring Pennsylvania to almost 5,000 students. In Arizona, scholarships totaling nearly $9 million were awarded to private school students. In Rhode Island, with fewer than 100 students, they’ve raised over $700,000 in two years.
Senator Sarlo can be reached at 201-804-8118. Contact him TODAY to encourage timely consideration of this bill!
To contact your Senator and Assemblymembers, click here.