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Sunday, August 23, 2009

Public Service Annoucement: School Choice Legislation Meeting

Received notice and it might interest some of my readers. Guest posts are always appreciate re: the evening's proceedings. Annoucement follows:

The topic of yeshiva tuition burdens us all and we now have an opportunity - and the obligation - to make our collective, communal voice heard and show our elected leaders that school choice legislation (like tax credits) is an issue of vital importance to our community.Join us Tuesday night, September 1st at 8:00 at Congregation Bnai Yeshurun to meet representatives from the OU and Agudath Israel of NJ to learn what we can do to help make school choice legislation a reality in New Jersey, as it now is in Florida, Louisiana, Pennsylvania, Georgia and several other states.This is an informational briefing on school choice programs, how they can ease the tuition burden on our families and schools and how we can - and must - make our voices heard in Trenton.E-mail Avi Goldenberg ( agoldenberg@whitecase.com ) or Yali Elkin ( yali.elkin@gmail.com ) with any questions.

9 comments:

SuperRaizy said...

What exactly is "school choice legislation"?

SephardiLady said...

Tax credits and vouchers I believe.

I think it is well known that I don't believe widespread vouchers will happen in this generation. I support vouchers for many reasons, but think the frum community is delusional to hang their hat on vouchers.

But, I always try to put up PSAs, so here it is.

Anonymous in Teaneck said...

What school choice legislation exists in Florida, Louisiana, Pennsylvania, and Georgia? Vouchers for students? The ability to start a Hebrew charter school? Tuition tax credits? This announcement makes it seem as if these things already exist in all these states. Do they?

SephardiLady said...

There are vouchers in certain cities including Milkwakee, Cleveland, and the District of Columbia. Milwakee's voucher program is limited to a certain number of students in the district and it is only available to low income students, perhaps in failing districts.

I believe vouchers are being contested in Flordia, but there are tuition tax credits and charter schools. I'm not quite sure where the tuition tax credits are applied because there is no income tax. AZ, IL, IA, MN, PA, and RI also have some sort of tax credits.

FL allows charter schools and there is already one Hebrew charter school program. Charter schools are very popular in DC, Dayton, Kansas City, and AZ.

I support the idea of school choice from an ideological standpoint. But, it isn't highly popular and it isn't the miracle that different Orthodox organizations seem to think it is imo.

The Bald Guy said...

"I support the idea of school choice from an ideological standpoint. But, it isn't highly popular and it isn't the miracle that different Orthodox organizations seem to think it is imo."

Why not? It's not a miracle but it definitely can ease the burden, if vouchers are eventually applied to anyone who pays school tax as part of property taxes.

SephardiLady said...

The vouchers that do exist (the voucher programs most likely to be expanded) are for families in failing school district and parents with very low incomes. I'm told that the Milkwakee yeshiva school does benefit from the program. If that combination exists in a community, than there is some hope that vouchers could ease the burden. I don't know if the Lakewood, NJ school district is a failing one. I don't believe that the case in Englewood or Teaneck.

Across the board vouchers has far less public appeal than limited programs like the voucher program in the District of Columbia.

SephardiLady said...

No doubt voucher programs of any magnitude will come with significant red tape. That aspect can't be ignored. But, yes, any funding would help. But, getting our own house under control will do further.

Miami Al said...

Urban School Districts recruiting students

The urban school districts are going door to door to recruit students back from the private/religious schools. They are touting their improvements.

Without support of the black community, whose members suffer the most under the school system but whose strong political alliance with the Teachers Union supported Democratic Party undermines report for school choice, I find this an unlikely possibility.

Even if you gathered 75% Evangelical support and 75% Black Support, you're just not going to get a solid political voting block behind it.

I don't have a problem with these efforts, as long as the proponents stop pretending that they have a chance at passing things. If the GOP couldn't push vouchers under Bush, there is no way it's happening now.

And the threats of dumping the kids into the school system doesn't jive with urban districts looking for white students with involved parents to pull up test scores.

Dave said...

Vouchers aren't going to happen.

And Vouchers for religious education will require significant legal or constitutional changes in the majority of states.

Charter Schools have in a very real sense eaten up the oxygen for vouchers; they have the advantages of flexibility and specialization, while still being under governmental oversight.

Moreover, they don't have the issues involved in suddenly and drastically increasing the financial load on the school system by funding existing private schools. And no one is going to sign up for that tax increase.