2017-04-26 / Local News

Day school parents seek more aid for schools

Two day school advocates representing Teach NJS presented their testimonies before the New Jersey Senate Budget and Appropriations Committee. The parents highlighted the inequity in state funding for nonpublic schools. While neighboring New York and Pennsylvania invest more in nonpublic schools, New Jersey lags behind. The parents argued for an increase in the 2018 budget, or approximately $500 per nonpublic school student to pay for essential resources and services, like textbooks, technology, security, and nursing aid.

One of the parents was Cherry Hill resident Jacob Bagley, whose children attended Politz Day School in Cherry Hill. The other parent was Jared Harary, a resident of Englewood, NJ. Harary sends his children to Ben Porat Yosef Yeshiva Day School in Bergen County.

Bagley told the committee that the $500 per student for nonpublic schools in the fiscal year 2018 budget would allow schools to hire more nurses to care for thousands of students as well as implement more security measures to keep those students safe, and increase funds for technology and textbooks so nonpublic school students are provided with the same resources as public schools. He asked the committee to “address the significant disproportion in funding between public and nonpublic school students in the state.”

Harary noted that today there are 170 Jewish day schools throughout New Jersey serving over 41,000 students, making Jewish day schools the second largest provider of nonpublic school education in the state. The annual cost of educating these children is $350-million.

“As a parent of a child who attends the Ben Porat Yosef School in Bergen County, the cost of education puts significant financial stress on our families and communities. Ten percent of K-12 students in New Jersey attend a nonpublic school, yet annually the state spends less than 1 percent of education funding on nonpublic schools. In the fiscal year 2018 budget, we are requesting nonpublic school funding at a level of $500 per student, which would break down as: $150 for nursing aid, $146 for technology aid, $144 for security aid, $60 for textbook aid, all per student numbers. By comparison, neighboring New York and Pennsylvania invest substantially more in nonpublic schools, double or triple that of New Jersey.” s

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