In a letter circulated to members of the House of Representatives today, the Union of Orthodox Jewish Congregations of America, through its Institute for Public Affairs, expressed its support for the goals embodied in the Helping Empower Low-Income Parents [“HELP”] legislation to be voted upon by the House tomorrow.
The legislation, sponsored by Representatives Jim Talent, J.C. Watts, and Floyd Flake is a new initiative designed to give greater assistance to low income parents struggling to educate their children. HELP would expand the list of educational assistance items that states could support with the federal funds they receive through Title VI block grants. Currently, these funds can be allocated by states for instructional materials, tutoring, technology purchases and the like. The funds may be used for these purposes whether the child assisted attends a public, private or parochial school. HELP would amend Title VI to include tuition assistance at any school among the list of permissible items the funds may support. Thus, a state could choose to fund a school choice scholarship program with Title VI funds.
The Orthodox Union letter, signed by president Mandell Ganchrow and IPA director Nathan Diament states that the HELP legislation is another initiative that would provide “greater educational opportunities for all American families through programs that help empower parents to decide how and where to best educate their children.”
NATHAN J. DIAMENT Director, Institute for Public Affairs, Union of Orthodox Jewish Congregations of America