For Immediate Release Contact:
March 20, 2014 Roslyn Singer, 212-613-8227
In his testimony before the New Jersey State Assembly and Senate Budget Committees this week, Josh Pruzansky, Regional Director of OU Advocacy-NJ, expressed the organization’s support of the proposed budget for Fiscal Year 2015 and reiterated that all New Jersey school children should be entitled to the same essential services to further their educational growth and ensure their health—regardless of the type of school they attend.
“We represent thousands of parents who are struggling to provide the educational opportunity they believe best suits their children. These parents pay the highest property taxes in the nation, of which 60 percent or more is used to fund public education,” Pruzansky said. “While we support the legislature’s investment in New Jersey’s public schools to assure they are excellent, we believe that all of New Jersey’s children must have the best educational opportunity possible and have the necessary tools for success, regardless of where they are educated.”
During his oral testimony, Pruzansky focused on funding for technology and nursing aid. Currently, the per student allocation for technology aid is $20. OU Advocacy-NJ is requesting an additional $180 for a total of $200 per student, which is less than what is available to a public school student, but would allow Jewish day school children to have the equipment necessary for a successful education. OU Advocacy-NJ is also requesting that the state increases the nursing aid allocation for non-public students to $200 per child as well, which would make that funding equivalent to the aid provided to public school students.
“Having qualified nurses in non-public schools is as important as having them in public schools. All students—public or private—deserve the same level of health care,” Pruzansky said.
“OU Advocacy-NJ feels strongly that whatever school(s) parents choose as the best option for their children should not limit the services available to those children. In matters of healthcare and equipment needs, all students should receive the same opportunities. We will continue to work with New Jersey state legislators to promote our argument for parity between all students,” Pruzansky added.
The Orthodox Union is the nation’s largest Orthodox Jewish umbrella organization; the OU Advocacy Center, formerly the Institute for Public Affairs, is the non-partisan public policy arm of the OU and leads its advocacy efforts in Washington, DC and state capitals. OU Advocacy-Teach NYS focuses on advocating for the needs of the non-public school community.