Agudath Israel of America is pleased to note that the New York State Education Department (NYSED) will release an additional payment of approximately $54 million in Comprehensive Attendance Policy (CAP) funds owed to nonpublic schools. This payment, covering the 2004-05 school year, is larger than any previous one-year reimbursement figure and translates into approximately $18 million in funding for NYS yeshivos.
CAP is an important component of the Mandated Services program, a program which reimburses nonpublic schools for the cost of certain government mandated school functions. Under CAP, NYS schools take attendance multiple times a day, and follow up on poor attendance patterns.
Yet, for more than a decade, due to budget shortfalls and the use of a flawed formula to calculate CAP reimbursement, the state accumulated a substantial debt to nonpublic schools. In addition, for certain years, including 2004-05, the CAP mandate was unfunded and schools did not receive any reimbursement at all.
Agudath Israel was working to address these issues, together with other nonpublic school groups and key NYS legislators, culminating in a $250 million appropriation enacted in 2015. This is the fourth installment of that appropriation. Since August 2015, including the payment of this $18 million, yeshivos will have received a total of approximately $63.7 million in prior-year CAP reimbursement. These monies are in addition to the regular Mandated Services and CAP payments the yeshivos receive each year.
“We could not have done this without the hard work and support of Governor Andrew Cuomo, NYS Senate Majority Leader John Flanagan, and NYS Assembly Speaker Carl Heastie,” said Rabbi Shmuel Lefkowitz, Agudath Israel’s Vice President for Community Services. “Their tireless efforts made this possible.”
Rabbi Yosef Gelman, Menahel of Masores Bais Yaakov school in Brooklyn, said, “We are very appreciative of the constant efforts of Agudas Yisroel in advocating on behalf of yeshivos and their talmidim and talmidos. I have seen firsthand the outstanding work of Agudas Yisroel in Albany and in other legislative venues, and they have earned the admiration and respect of government agencies. The release of the fourth installment of the long-overdue CAP monies is so vital to the yeshiva community, to help us continue providing a stellar education for our students.”