National School Choice Week (NSCW) begins on Sunday, but some people just couldn’t wait.

Yesterday, Rabbi Sadwin joined Secretary of Education Betsy DeVos and members of Congress at an early NSCW celebration at the Capitol (see here for some exciting school choice news out of Maryland). Next week, Agudath Israel and many Jewish schools will be participating in one of the 32,000 NSCW events taking place across the country. NCSW is a positive and enthusiastic celebration of all educational options, including private, religious education. To find an event near you go to https://schoolchoiceweek.com/.

Rabbi Ariel Sadwin with Senator Ted Cruz (R-TX)

Participating in NSCW enhances our ability to form strong advocacy networks to promote vouchers, tax credits and other vital school choice initiatives. A poll released by the American Federation for Children this week showed that 63% of Americans support the concept of school choice. That’s great news, but we still can use more support.

National School Choice Week is nonpolitical and does not advocate for any legislation, however some schools are using NSCW to educate their students (and parents) about existing school choice programs in their state or proposed legislation. This would be a great week to contact your elected officials, thanking them for the school choice options available in your state or asking them to expand the choices for your family. For more information about private school choice programs around the country download The 2018 ABC’s of School Choice recently published by EdChoice or contact staterelations@agudathisrael.org.

On the religious freedom front, Agudath Israel filed a brief this week with the US Supreme Court in a California case which compels religious practitioners to publicly disseminate information that, as a matter of religious belief, they oppose. In a local situation, Amberley Village, Ohio modified their proposed nondiscrimination ordinance after hearing from Agudath Israel and representatives of the Orthodox community who were concerned with the lack of comprehensive religious exemptions for schools, religious institutions and individuals.

Finally, our NY government affairs team just wrapped up a tour of various communities, meeting with school leaders to discuss our 2018 legislative agenda. To see our 2017 New York State legislative scorecard, click here.