Sept. 12, 2016 – Hailing it as a “historic milestone” in ensuring the safety of all New Jersey school students, TeachNJS a project of the Orthodox Union applauded today the New Jersey Legislature and Governor Chris Christie for passing and signing into law the Secure Schools for All Children Act. This new law will allocate vital funds to the state’s non-public schools in order to bolster student safety and security.
The bill, signed this morning by Gov. Christie, provides non-public schools with up to $75 per student in aid to be used for security. This amount is the highest per non-public school student security funding in State history and will help protect the lives of more than 150,000 children who attend Jewish, Catholic, private and other non-public schools.
“This legislation spearheaded by Assemblyman Gary Schaer represents a historic milestone for our non-public schools and will be integral to providing for the safety of our children,” declared Nathan J. Lindenbaum, Co-Chair of TeachNJS, which convened and spearheaded the coalition of organizations that has been advocating for its passage. “As parents, we all want to know that our children are safe as they head off to school each morning and that every effort has been made to create a secure learning environment. The funding allocated by this legislation will go a long way toward ensuring that our schools provide this safe environment our children need to learn and thrive.”
Added Josh Pruzansky, New Jersey Regional Director of the Orthodox Union Advocacy Center: “Establishing a new law that will require the state to provide funding on an annual basis, protecting the lives of more than 150,000 non-public school students is a step in the right direction and a impressive response by the Governor and Legislative Leadership to our message that all students should be treated equally in the provision of health care and safety.”
TeachNJS was formed a short time ago to advocate for additional funding for non-public schools, achieving record success in a little more than a year.
TeachNJS would like to specifically thank Assemblyman Gary Schaer for his leadership in the successful passage of this bill and Assembly Speaker Vincent Prieto for agreeing to sign on as a primary sponsor. We would also like to thank Senator James Beach, Senator Paul Sarlo, Senate Majority Leader Loretta Weinberg and Senate President Stephen Sweeney for their work in shepherding the bill through the Senate. Governor Chris Christie also deserves our sincere gratitude for recognizing that non-public school students deserve the same considerations as their public school counterparts and agreeing to sign this bill into law.
“The importance of providing adequate security for all of our school children cannot be overstated and the passage of the Secure Schools for All Children Act will help the Non Public Schools achieve that goal,” said Assemblyman Gary Schaer, who spearheaded this historic legislation. “I must acknowledge the leadership and intense work of TeachNJS, which was instrumental to our success.”
“This was truly a group effort from both houses of the legislature as well as from the Governor and we would like to thank all of our state’s elected officials for helping to provide the kind of safe learning environment our students need to succeed,” said Maury Litwack, Director of State Political Affairs of the Orthodox Union Advocacy Center.
The new funding will go into effect beginning with the 2016-2017 school year.
Teach NJS also would like to thank our partners at the Jewish Federation of Northern New Jersey and the Jewish Federation in the Heart of New Jersey as well as our 20 participating schools for their support and advocacy on behalf of our children’s security.
The Orthodox Union Advocacy Center and TeachNJS look forward to a bright future for our students and the rest of the more than 150,000 non-public school children who will benefit from this historic legislation.