FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
November 25, 2008
Contact: Nathan J. Diament
ORTHODOX UNION WRITES OBAMA ASKING HIM TO INCORPORATE “TUITION FACTOR” AND GREENING ALL SCHOOLS INTO ECONOMIC RECOVERY PLAN
Today, in the context of the economic crisis confronting the United States, the Union of Orthodox Jewish Congregations of America, the nation’s largest Orthodox Jewish umbrella organization, wrote to President-Elect Barack Obama urging him to incorporate into his economic recovery plans steps to aid American families burdened by steep tuition costs.
The Orthodox Union’s letter to President-Elect Obama first “noted with appreciation that, in your press conference yesterday, you stated that American ‘families cannot afford to keep on waiting and hoping for a solution. They cannot afford to watch another month of unpaid bills pile up, another semester of tuition slip out of reach….’”
The Orthodox Union’s letter went on to say:
We are writing you because in so many American communities, families of many faiths and of moderate and lower economic means are struggling to meet the tuition bills for their children in faith-based non-public schools. These families – in the Orthodox Jewish, Catholic, Christian, Muslim and other communities – choose these schools for the same reason you and Michelle chose your daughters’ new school in Washington – “it is the best fit” for their children and how they want to educate them. We write, therefore, to urge you to incorporate this reality into the economic recovery proposals you are developing. There are two key areas in which this can be done:
(a) incorporating a family’s tuition expenses, including K-12 tuition expenses, into your tax policy plans, and (b) including parochial schools in your “green” modernization and construction project plans.
Nathan J. Diament, director of public policy for the Orthodox Union, further stated:
It appears that President-Elect Obama is planning a very aggressive and very pragmatic approach to reversing the economic downturn. We are eager to work with him and his new team to assure the economic recovery plan is effective for all Americans, including those in our and other faith communities.