Up for Vote: $32 Million for NY Jewish Day Schools

New York State voters to vote on Smart Schools Bond Act. For Jewish schools, this could add some $250 per student.

Hillel Fendel ,

Children studying
Children studying
Flash 90

New York State voters will vote on the Smart Schools Bond Act next week. If passed, Jewish day schools and yeshivot can receive up to $32 million – out of $2 billion of state allocations.

 

Proposal 3 would authorize New York State to borrow up to $2 billion for school technology, including interactive whiteboards, computers and tablets, high-speed broadband or wireless connectivity, and the like. School districts could also use the money for high-tech security for school buildings and campuses, and/or for constructing and modernizing pre-kindergarten facilities.

 

For the more than 100,000 yeshiva and Jewish day school students in New York State, this could add some $250 per student.

 

The OU Advocacy Center, the non-partisan public policy arm of the Orthodox Union, has come out in favor of the proposition, known as Proposal 3 on next week's ballot. The OU is working with the Teach NYS (New York State) initiative – focusing on the needs of the non-public school community – on the issue.

 

As one Jewish day school told its parents, "Jewish education affordability is our ultimate goal. A 'yes' vote [on Proposal 3] takes us one step closer."

 

Opponents of the bill say that adding $2 billion worth of state debt is not a good idea, even for the worthy goal of enhancing students' hi-tech education.

 

Nearly 40% of the money is earmarked for the New York City school district; $56 million is to go to Buffalo, $47 to Rochester, $27 million to Syracuse, and almost $10 million will go to Hempstead school district.

 

School districts will have to submit proposals for review and approval by a Smart Schools Review Committee established for this purpose.



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