ORTHODOX UNION COMMENDS NJ SENATE BUDGET COMMITTEE VOTE ON OPPORTUNITY SCHOLARSHIP ACT
January 20, 2011
For: Immediate Release
Contact: Howie Beigelman, 212.613.8311
Today, the New Jersey Senate Budget & Appropriations Committee voted 8-5 to support S.1872, the Opportunity Scholarship Act, which would establish a pilot tax credit scholarship program in some of New Jersey’s worst performing school districts. The Orthodox Union’s Institute for Public Affairs submitted written testimony in support of the bill. As well, IPA Legislative Fellow Rafi Katz delivered oral testimony at today’s hearing. The full Senate must still vote on the bill which also has the public and consistent support of Governor Chris Christie.
Following the vote, OU Deputy Director of Public Policy Howie Beigelman issued the following statement:
“Today is a great day for children and families in New Jersey because they learned they are the only ‘special interests’ that matter. Other states have enacted similar programs with bi-partisan support and we hope New Jersey becomes the next state to lead with education reform that produces results. Although only three of the districts affected have Jewish communities of note, the Orthodox Union is a proud supporter of change and choice that helps any child in need across New Jersey. We especially thank Senator Sarlo, the chair, for allowing a vote despite his own personal feelings on the bill and we are especially grateful to Senator Beach, who represents the Cherry Hill Orthodox Jewish community for his yes vote. Most of all we thank the indefatigable sponsors of this legislation, Senators Lesniak and Kean.”
Several other states, including neighboring Pennsylvania, as well as Arizona, Florida, Georgia, Indiana and Rhode Island each have similar tax credit programs that have secured tens of millions of dollars for public and nonpublic schools and helped thousands of children obtain a better education. As well, several states, including Maryland and North Carolina have bills on tap this year in their legislatures. Support for tax credit programs crosses party lines as well as geographic locales.
To read a copy of the OU’s testimony see here: Testimony_in_Support_S-1872_OSA_(1-20-11).doc