One of the highest priorities of the Torah community is the education of our children, and we firmly believe that one of the keys to educational excellence is parental involvement. We are also of the view that there is no better way to encourage such involvement, and to ensure educational accountability, than to allow parents to choose the school that is best suited for their child — whether public, private or religious. Therefore, Agudath Israel, on behalf of the Torah community, has been a prominent voice in the “school choice” movement.
Secretary of Education-designate Betsy DeVos shares our perspective. Over the many years that Agudath Israel has worked closely with Mrs. DeVos, we have known her to be a strong supporter, advocate and fighter for school choice programs throughout the country. Her prospective appointment is very exciting to those seeking educational reform and provides hope to our community, and to all families who seek greater educational opportunity and achievement for their children.
On January 17, Betsy DeVos will face members of the Senate HELP (Health, Education, Labor, and Pensions) Committee at her confirmation hearing. There are those who, unfortunately, have expressed opposition to the idea of empowering parents through choice and have signaled their intent to undermine her appointment. Therefore, it is incumbent upon us, her supporters, to have our voices be heard even louder and clearer. Agudath Israel submitted a letter of support to the members of the committee in support of her nomination.
Please reach out to your senators and respectfully urge them to endorse Mrs. DeVos for Secretary of Education and the policy of school choice. Emphasize how vital it is for them to explicitly assert how school choice is a fundamental need for so many Americans who want more options for their children and who – like families in our own community – struggle hard to provide the most appropriate education for their children. For those living in states with existing school choice programs give examples of how these programs have benefited your family and community.
Thank you in advance,
Rabbi Abba Cohen