Classroom (illustration)
Classroom (illustration)iStock

The Orthodox Union (OU) Teach Florida project hosted its annual legislative breakfast in Davie, Florida on Sunday, thanking the state of Florida for $60 million in 2022 state funding that enabled Jewish families to send their children to Jewish day schools.

The event was attended by a record 750 guests, including state legislators and Jewish community leaders.

At the breakfast, Florida Jewish community leaders expressed their gratitude to state officials who make critical decisions about state scholarships and security funding, thanking them for the $60 million in day school funding.

Teach Florida advocates for expanded state scholarship funding for all students. The OU noted that Florida currently leads the entire nation with more than 242,000 children receiving a state scholarship – including a record 7,200 in Jewish day schools. Over half of Florida Jewish day school students receive a state scholarship.

Speaker of the Florida House of Representatives Paul Renner gave an address at the event.

“With Florida being the third largest state in the country, what we do here in this space when we create our scholarship programs has a powerful influence over what happens in education nationally and even globally,” Renner said. “With those dollars, you can have innovative education entrepreneurs that are looking for new ways to serve the needs of the children that are represented by the families in this room.”

House of Representatives Chair Randy Fine said, “What I’m hopeful we are going to do over the next two years is to see that every student gets every dollar for every method of education that they so choose. When we do that, that is when the mission of expanding school choice will be done.”

Teach Florida Executive Director Danny Aqua said, “Our theme this year is changing lives, one scholarship at a time, because every child matters. We are so grateful to our elected officials for creating and expanding these incredible scholarships that are helping thousands of children in our community.”

Teach Florida is a member of the Teach Coalition, the education advocacy organization for nonpublic schools. Since 2011, it has secured over $253 million in state funding for Jewish day school scholarships.