Today, the Union of Orthodox Jewish Congregations of America welcomed elements of President Bush’s FY2004 Budget Proposal which are designed to foster increased parental empowerment and options in guiding the education of their children. The Budget Proposal contains several mutli-million dollar initiatives, totaling $756 million, in this category.
The initiatives include: $75 million for a new Choice Incentive Fund to provide competitive awards to states to foster parental choice programs – a portion of these funds would be dedicated to a school choice initiative in the nation’s capital; $226 million in refundable tax credits for parents transferring a child out of a failing public school; and$220 million in charter school grants..
Nathan J. Diament, the Union’s director of public policy issued the following statement:
The parental empowerment initiatives proposed in the President’s budget are important steps forward in affording educational opportunity and equity to all American children. Parents are the best decision-makers when it comes to the education of their children and public policy must empower parents, first and foremost, to make the decisions they prefer. The UOJCA hopes that the President’s proposal is the beginning of a new discussion over these kinds of policies which will bring greater resources and equity to America’s public and non-public school families.