web analytics
September 22, 2014 / 27 Elul, 5774
At a Glance
News & Views
Sponsored Post
Meir Panim with Soldiers 5774 Roundup: Year of Relief and Service for Israel’s Needy

Meir Panim implements programs that serve Israel’s neediest populations with respect and dignity. Meir Panim also coordinated care packages for families in the South during the Gaza War.



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
Ex-KKK Wizard David Duke.
Five Anti-Zionist Doctors ‘Hijack’ Medical Journal to Dump on Israel
Latest News Stories
Hamas terrorists prepare their version of the cease-fire.

The cease-fire does not mean Hamas can’t prepare to end it.

Ex-KKK Wizard David Duke.

“How can you separate politics and health? The two go hand-in-hand.” – editor of Lancent medical journal.

Karnei Shomron Logo

7:30 pm From the Ginot Shomron CTU Commander: Official Announcement regarding the security incident in Ginot Shomron today: There was a reported sighting of a suspect in Ginot this afternoon. The suspect was most probably a teenager with a paintball rifle. There were no injuries, no arrests and there are no suspects. The entire incident […]

Student blowing a shofar

For the record, Jewish law allows you only to hear on shofar at a time on Rosh HaShanah.

Add BDS to the long list of those who never will forgive Obama.

The Mossad international intelligence agency has launched a new website to recruit potentially qualified candidates.

Australian Prime Minister Tony Abbott announces that any citizen who went abroad to fight with jihad groups may as well stay there.

Kurdish fighters in Syria say they have stopped the advance of ISIS towards the town of Kobani near the Turkish border.

The US has allegedly sent military aid and intelligence to the Lebanese Hezbollah terrorist organization, according to the NYT.

ISIS terrorists are preparing to defend captured territory and using human shields to do it, but they’re also living the high life with chocolate.

For the first time, Hezbollah has used unmanned aerial vehicles (UAVs) to bomb its enemies in Syria.

Turkey’s President Erdogan is meeting with Jewish and Armenian leaders in New York — but so what?

Hareidim in Meah Shearim are wasting no time to prepare for the Sukkot holiday, even if we have to still have to first celebrate Rosh Hashana and Yom Kippur.

The infighting between Hamas and the Palestinian Authority is starting to get ugly. Good. Maybe that will keep them busy.

Israel may not be a favorite politically, but is moving up in the world of international baseball.

PA Chairman Abbas and Israeli PM Netanyahu reportedly are secretly talking via negotiators.

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: