Today, leaders of the Union of Orthodox Jewish Congregations of America joined President George W. Bush at an even held at the Kipp Key Community School in Washington, DC where the President announced his strong support for a $75 million school choice initiative. Rabbi Tzvi Hersh Weinreb, the Union’s Executive Vice President, and Nathan J. Diament, the Union’s Director of Public Policy, attended the event in which Secretary of Education Rod Paige, D.C. Mayor Anthony Williams and other officials participated.
In his remarks at the event, President Bush noted that $15 million of the $75 million he has requested in his budget proposal to congress will be specifically allocated to a school choice program in Washington, DC. The program is designed to empower parents by awarding scholarships of up to $7500 to those who qualify and desire to remove their child from a failing school. The choice initiative has the support of Mayor Williams and DC School Board President Peggy Cooper Cafritz.
Rabbi Weinreb and Nathan Diament issued the following statement after this morning’s event:
The Union of Orthodox Jewish Congregations has long been a supporter of school choice initiatives for they are in keeping with the fundamental Jewish teaching that parents are primarily responsible for the education of their children. We applaud the leadership of President Bush who is clearly determined to improve the educational opportunities for all America’s children and we applaud Mayor Williams for his courageous leadership on this issue as well. The UOJCA will work with all those interested in improving education and empowering parents to achieve these noble goals.