November 12, 2014
Originally published in eJewish Philanthropy
The sweeping and surprising electoral results from last week’s election transformed the makeup of the U.S. Senate, overturned several gubernatorial races and introduced entire ideological shifts in state legislatures. People and pundits throughout the country are debating the factors that led to the Republican sweep, including economic issues and the President’s popularity, or lack thereof. What isn’t being discussed, however, is the impact this election will have on future funding for Jewish education.
Let’s look at the races that impact Jewish education.
In Florida, Governor Rick Scott won re-election in one of the most hotly contested and well-funded races. Right in the middle of the race, a lawsuit was raised challenging the state’s educational tax credit program, which provides funding for 70,000 low-income children and close to $9 million in funding for Florida Jewish day schools. Challenger Charlie Crist chose to support this lawsuit and Governor Scott voiced his opposition. Private school parents rallied against Charlie Crist and, in an interesting turn of events, Crist lost by about 70,000 votes – the same number of students who benefit from the program.