web analytics
July 13, 2014 / 15 Tammuz, 5774
Israel at War: Operation Protective Edge
 
 
At a Glance
InDepth
Sponsored Post
Meir Panim's Restaurant in Tiberias Restaurant in Tiberias Enriches Holocaust Survivors’ Wellbeing

The generosity of Mrs. Lee Steinberg of New York helped establish the Meir Panim Free Restaurant in Tiberias.



Home » InDepth » Op-Eds »

School Choice, the Government, and You

The Indiana program allows parents with an annual household income of up to $64,000 for a family of four to participate.

SchoolHouse

As Jews, we assume a myriad of financial obligations in order to ensure that we live in accordance with the tenets of our faith. We give generously to our shuls and make charitable donations to various organizations that service the Jewish community. But one of the biggest investments we make is in our children’s future, as we enroll them in one of the many quality yeshivas our community boasts.

It is no secret that the cost of yeshiva tuition is of great concern to numerous parents in our community. Often the subject of conversation at Shabbos tables, it is always on the minds of every family with children in yeshiva.

There have been extensive discussions and debates over the years about finding ways to alleviate the financial burden borne by tuition-paying parents. Much of the conversation has focused on the role of government in the business of educating our children. It is an age-old question: Should the government play a part in assisting parents of private and religious school students? More important, is the government permitted to do so?

It is not every day that a courthouse in Middle America takes center stage in the school choice movement. But on March 26, the justices of the Indiana Supreme Court unanimously upheld the state’s progressive voucher program.

The court’s decision rebuffed a 2011 challenge to Indiana’s voucher program brought by the Indiana State Teachers Association. In the court’s decision, Chief Justice Brent Dickson wrote that the voucher program did not violate the constitution because the state monies “do not directly benefit religious schools but rather directly benefit lower-income families with school children.”

This was a monumental decision, in that it provided the state of Indiana with the legal justification necessary to continue its voucher program – one of the most ambitious in the United States. Unlike voucher programs in other states that focus primarily on lower-income families, the Indiana program allows parents with an annual household income of up to $64,000 for a family of four to participate.

By providing lower- and middle-income families with the necessary funds to cover tuition costs, the Indiana voucher program enables them to enroll their children in private schools, as opposed to having to send them to public schools.

Since Indiana established its voucher program in 2011, approximately 9,000 families, most of which chose to educate their children in private schools, have benefited from the program.

The decision to uphold Indiana’s voucher program is somewhat consistent with the progress that recently has been made on the school choice issue across the nation. There are a number of states – including Pennsylvania, Florida, Georgia, Louisiana and Arizona – that either presently have or are considering the implementation of tax-credit or voucher programs that benefit parents of private school students,

Closer to home, Governor Christie has been supportive of creating a voucher program in New Jersey by allocating state funds in order to enable lower-income families to send their children to private school, if they so choose. In addition, there is a bill pending before the New Jersey State Legislature that would expand the current law in order to permit special needs students to be assigned by their respective school districts to a private religious school, such as a yeshiva.

In New York, Governor Cuomo and the State Legislature recently passed a budget that includes a $14 million increase in funding for non-public schools. That includes a more than 30 percent increase in funding for the Comprehensive Attendance Policy and a boost in state funding for the Mandated Services Reimbursement.

With momentum in the school choice arena perhaps shifting a bit in favor of private school parents, now is the time for our community to become further engaged in the process.

Let us not forget for a moment that powerful teachers’ unions, which typically oppose the utilization of any state funds that would benefit non-public schools in any way, wield a tremendous amount of power in Albany and Trenton and enjoy longstanding relationships with many New York and New Jersey state legislators. Relief for private school parents is not just going to fall into our laps. In order to bring about the aid we as private school parents need and deserve, we must stand up and make our voices heard.

About the Author: N. Aaron Troodler is an attorney and a principal of Paul Revere Public Relations, a public relations and political consulting firm. Visit him on the web at www.PaulReverePR.com or at www.JewishWorldPR.com or follow him on Twitter: @troodler.


If you don't see your comment after publishing it, refresh the page.

Our comments section is intended for meaningful responses and debates in a civilized manner. We ask that you respect the fact that we are a religious Jewish website and avoid inappropriate language at all cost.

If you promote any foreign religions, gods or messiahs, lies about Israel, anti-Semitism, or advocate violence (except against terrorists), your permission to comment may be revoked.

No Responses to “School Choice, the Government, and You”

Comments are closed.

SocialTwist Tell-a-Friend

Current Top Story
Overhead power lines in Gaza
Electricity Knocked Out in Gaza (Thanks to Hamas)
Latest Indepth Stories
Whatwouldyoudo.jpg

What would Putin do were his country to be faced with constant rocket barrages from over the border?

Israeli Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu (L) American President Barack Obama (C) and Palestinian Arab leader Mahmoud Abbas (R)

World leaders proposed a cessation of hostilities; a return to the Nov. 2012 ceasefire agreement.

Lewis-071114-Main

A woman who knows that her family is financially stable is a happy, relaxed mother.

An Iron Dome Missile Battery near Tel Aviv on the first day of Operation Protective Edge, July 8, 2014.

We hit their missiles in mid-air with computer-guided projectiles invented and built by Jews’ between rounds of rigorous scientific education or yeshiva study.

How will all this end? Hamas seems to think it will be Netanyahu who will blink first.

There is a major moral distinction that needs to be taken into account when one considers the murders of Israeli teens Eyal Yifrach, Gilad Shaar, and Naftali Frankel and the murder of Palestinian teen Muhammad Abu Khdeir. The difference is that the Palestinian Authority has embraced such mass murderers as heroes and Israel punishes all […]

“a groundbreaking shift toward equitable and efficient treatment of our most vulnerable children”

“After all, we must remember that God isn’t our ‘employee.’ He doesn’t always do as we wish.”

Israelis dodge bullets to become leaders in nearly all fields. Palestinians use aid money to build rocket launchers.

Water: a fluid with life-giving force, a thin liquid even a trickle of which can assure survival. Crops, fields, land, people – we all need water. We need water for growth, for purity, for beauty, for subsistence. What do we do when water sources are depleted? We have learned not to behave like the young […]

Jerusalem: The historic and spiritual capital of the State of Israel and the Jewish people.

Immediately end the occupation and declare Israeli sovereignty over the entire Jewish Homeland.

On which planet is Obama living on when making ridiculous pronouncements on the Middle East?

This Is for the Zionists. for a people exiled from their land Time after time after time their crime was their ethnicity and so their history as a people has been filled with blood   With blood and with tyranny, as nations and invading armies uprooted them, looted their homes, took away the songs of […]

Like all patriotic Americans, I cheered implementation of the Bush Doctrine to preemptively protect American lives from the perceived threat of WMD.

In fact, the two suspects were arrested by Israeli authorities – not, as the Times tried artfully to suggest, by Mr. Abbas’s Palestinian Authority.

More Articles from N. Aaron Troodler
Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas speaking in Ramallah, Saturday, January 11, 2014.

With his decision to unite with Hamas, Mahmoud Abbas has thrown away diplomacy and chose terrorism instead.

Web_F070726MIS04

Before I knew it, we were suddenly busy with shopping, packing, and more shopping. My daughter was going to Israel.

Several fundamental issues must first be addressed before a substantive and enduring peace agreement can be reached.

As Jews, we assume a myriad of financial obligations in order to ensure that we live in accordance with the tenets of our faith. We give generously to our shuls and make charitable donations to various organizations that service the Jewish community. But one of the biggest investments we make is in our children’s future, as we enroll them in one of the many quality yeshivas our community boasts.

Whether it emanates from world leaders or media reports, there is a barrage of public opinion chastising Israel for policies that supposedly impede the path to peace in the Middle East.

With the dramatic stroke of a red marker, the “Bibi Bomb” became an instant sensation.

When Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu stood before world leaders on September 27 at the 67th session of the United Nations General Assembly, he faced a colossal challenge. Despite the vocal skepticism of those who feel the situation is not as dire as he maintains, Netanyahu has been steadfast in his insistence that Iran is well on its way to stockpiling enough enriched uranium to construct a nuclear bomb.

When analyzing the Arab-Israeli conflict, it is very easy to pinpoint the horrific acts of terror carried out by Palestinian terrorists as a critical issue that must be addressed before there can be any substantive conversations about a true and lasting peace agreement.

When the shrill sound of the telephone ringing shattered the silence in our home at 5:30 in the morning on Monday, October 18, I got out of bed and answered the call with great trepidation and a sense of dread. I realized that if someone was calling our house that early in the morning, it was in all likelihood not good news. The voice on the other end of the line belonged to my father-in-law, who, in a trembling voice, told me my sister-in-law had passed away suddenly. I then had to turn to my wife and gently tell her that her sister was gone.

    Latest Poll

    Israel's Iron Dome Anti-Missile System:





    View Results

    Loading ... Loading ...

Printed from: http://www.jewishpress.com/indepth/opinions/school-choice-the-government-and-you/2013/05/04/

Scan this QR code to visit this page online: