web analytics
November 24, 2014 / 2 Kislev, 5775
At a Glance
News & Views
Sponsored Post
IDC Herzliya Campus A Day on Campus

To mark IDC Herzliya’s 20th anniversary, we spent a day following Prof. Uriel Reichman, IDC’s founder and president, and Jonathan Davis, VP for External Relations, around its delightful campus.



Home » News & Views » US » NY »

No Politician Cares About Funding Private Schools


There are two types of politicians we encounter when advocating to relieve our community’s tuition burden through the use of government funding: those who claim to be 100 percent behind us, and those who claim to be 100 percent against us. What’s interesting is that politicians in both categories do not seem to understand what “100 percent” means.

Those against us are adamant that no dollar should be spent for private schools since they argue that it takes away money from the public schools and that it’s unconstitutional. It certainly is constitutional, and we at the OU are happy to share a wide variety of opinions and Amicus briefs on the matter. But this argument stems from a politician’s desire to not even think about this issue. As for the detriment to public schools, even if we show them that a tax credit program is often built with triggers to save the state money, this doesn’t appease such a politician. Our community supports the attainment of excellent educational opportunities – both private and public – for all.

These politicians, though, have an antiquated view of our community’s requests, and believe that we are only going after vouchers that, in their view, will eventually close down all public schools. Vouchers obviously won’t close down public schools; even charter schools didn’t wipe out public schools. These types of politicians require a laundry list of other issues important to Jewish education, which don’t scream voucher and ones they could support. When we have engaged such politicians on special education, they can’t deny that such an expenditure is worthwhile. When we have engaged them on safety issues for our children, they obviously can’t say no to such a request. When we have asked them for even the most basic requests, e.g. textbooks (even used), their initial stone-cold opposition has melted.

The politicians who are for everything we do are surprisingly not that different. I met last year with two different political leaders in state legislatures who are pro-private school funding on paper, on the campaign trail, and in nearly every public speech. But their actions didn’t match their words when it came to our actual requests for support regarding voucher or tax credit funding. Both politicians froze when asked specific details about their public support, questions they didn’t seem to expect from anyone. They quickly created a variety of excuses (political caucus issues, for one) for why they couldn’t support our requests.

Politicians like the ones I’ve described get by for many years by flashing their ideological credentials and never expecting anyone to call them out on what they’ve actually done for our community – or what they plan on doing in the near future. When we have remained in contact with these politicians, demanded specifics from them, and lobbied for many more voices to ask the same questions that we solicit, they have acted.

Both types of “100 percent” politicians are of no use to Jewish education if they are not properly engaged. We need to show those who choose to be completely against us why we agree on many things, and although there is opposition in some cases there are opportunities for support in many others. Those who choose to be completely for us must be moved from delivering lip service to doing something substantive – actions that impact our community in a positive way. That will turn these politicians from talking heads to real champions.

Maury Litwack is the director of political affairs for the Orthodox Union. Prior to his work with the OU, he served on the government advocacy team of Miami-Dade County, one of the largest counties in the country.

About the Author: Maury Litwack is the director of political affairs for the Orthodox Union. Prior to his work with the OU, he served on the government advocacy team of Miami-Dade County, one of the largest counties in the country.


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 “No Politician Cares About Funding Private Schools”

Comments are closed.

SocialTwist Tell-a-Friend

Current Top Story
Banner at Tehran military parade, Sept. 23, 2013. Although the English statement is relatively mild, in Persian and Arabic it says “Death to America.”
Iran Says Nuclear Deal ‘Impossible’ by Nov. 24 Deadline
Latest News Stories
Banner at Tehran military parade, Sept. 23, 2013. Although the English statement is relatively mild, in Persian and Arabic it says “Death to America.”

Iran says it won’t make a deal with world powers over its nuclear development program by the Nov. 24 deadline.

Israeli police shoot tear gas to disperse Arab rioters throwing rocks in Isawiya, October 2014. (archive)

Security leaders re-activate a special unit in Israel as Arab rioters injure four police officers in Jerusalem.

Rabbi David Lau visits Temple Mount activist and assassination target Rabbi Yehuda Glick at Shaarei Tzedek Hospital.

The doctors completed their surgery and accomplished what they set out to repair.

France Jew in a French synagogue talks about rising anti-Semitism.

Israel’s cabinet decides to clear obstacles for employment of immigrating professionals.

Sheikh Samir Aasi says “I Was Attacked Because Of What I Stand For. These Extremists Don’t Want Relations Between Religions”

Former Washington DC Mayor Marion Barry died early Sunday at age 78.

A Tennessee watchdog group says textbooks in the state’s schools are teaching children to hate Israel and Jews.

In New Zealand a Jewish toddler wearing a yarmulka is attacked; the adults consider teaching their young to hide their identity.

If there were such a thing as “diplomatic police,” Abbas would have been arrested long ago for crossing red lines.

Both the town and the tower were destroyed in a violent fashion. A layer of ash shows they were burnt.

Son of Isaac Bashevis Singer, Israeli author Israel Zalman, dead at 85.

They were harmless men simply looking for “song birds.” Uh-huh.

US law states anyone who “Incited terrorist activity with intent to cause serious bodily harm or death” should be barred from entry.

The police knew the PA Arabs were sleeping in the cemetery, they just couldn’t figure out where…

The US is so used to believing lies that it can hardly distinguish them from the truth.

More Articles from Maury Litwak

One thing that I consistently encounter when discussing affordable Jewish education is frustration and blame. The frustration comes from parents and others intimately involved in Jewish education.

There are two types of politicians we encounter when advocating to relieve our community’s tuition burden through the use of government funding: those who claim to be 100 percent behind us, and those who claim to be 100 percent against us. What’s interesting is that politicians in both categories do not seem to understand what “100 percent” means.

It can’t be emphasized enough how important grassroots involvement is to political action. Serious unified support can impact the tuition crisis by making our community and its school choice allies an impenetrable voting bloc that must be listened to and that demands consistent results. How we get to “unified” is a challenge.

Printed from: http://www.jewishpress.com/news/us-news/ny/no-politician-cares-about-funding-private-schools/2012/01/20/

Scan this QR code to visit this page online: