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Tucked in the state budget passed over the weekend is a historic $289 million in nonpublic-school funding, targeted toward religious schools around the state, including $40 million for school security. The massive increase in state funds comes after a prolonged effort by the Orthodox Union to promote its project Teach NYS, which advocates for state reimbursements to yeshivas and other religious schools for investments in science, technology, engineering and math (STEM).

“We are extremely grateful to Gov. Cuomo, Leader Flanagan, Speaker Heastie and the New York legislature for making STEM education and security for nonpublic schools a priority in this year’s final budget,” said Allen Fagin, CEO of the Orthodox Union. “Next year, children in yeshivas and Jewish day schools across New York will be safer, better educated and more secure.

The final budget also includes $210 million for state-mandated services, $25 million for technology and $7 million for immunization.
“Teach NYS is thankful for the legislature’s and governor’s commitment to educating all our children,” said Maury Litwack, executive director of Teach NYS, “but most of all, we are indebted to our grassroots supporters who put in the hard work to make this historic budget a reality. This budget is proof that every person can make a difference.”

Teach NYS has been a leader in articulating the role nonpublic schools play in the state’s education system. Back on March 1, Teach NYS brought a group of 600-plus students, parents, teachers and lay leaders to Albany to lobby lawmakers for the funding increase, and Gov. Cuomo spoke to the crowd.

“This is truly a historic day in New York State,” said Mark Bane, president of the Orthodox Union. “All children deserve a quality education—regardless of what type of school they attend. This budget will go a long way toward ensuring that all children in New York State have the same opportunities for success.”

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