ORTHODOX UNION COMMENDS FAVORABLE NJ ASSEMBLY COMMERCE COMMITTEE VOTE ON OPPORTUNITY SCHOLARSHIP ACT
February 3, 2011
For: Immediate Release
Contact: Howie Beigelman, 212.613.8311
Today, the New Jersey Assembly Commerce & Economic Development Committee voted 5-0 to support A.2810, 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 bill now moves to the Assembly Budget Committee. In the Senate, similar legislation, after passing both the Economic Growth & Budget committees, awaits a vote by the full Senate. The legislation has enjoyed the public and consistent support of Governor Chris Christie, who has pledged to sign it.
Following the vote, OU Deputy Director of Public Policy Howie Beigelman issued the following statement:
“Today, New Jersey’s children and families – the only ‘special interests’ that truly matter – came a step closer to educational reform already showing results in other states. We hope New Jersey becomes the next state to lead with such bi-partisan education reform. We are especially grateful to Assemblywoman Lampitt, who represents the Cherry Hill Orthodox Jewish community for her yes vote. While only three of the districts affected have Jewish communities of note, the Orthodox Union is a proud supporter of change and choice that will help any child in need across New Jersey.
“As well, in a time when political disagreement has turned rancorous, we commend Chairman Coutinho for a model hearing that was passionate but respectful of both sides.”
Several other states, including neighboring Pennsylvania, as well as Arizona, Florida, Georgia, Indiana and Rhode Island each have similar tax credit programs, enacted or expanded with bi-partisan support, 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 respective legislatures.
You may read a copy of the OU’s testimony here.