Agudath Israel Testifies —

Hearing on New Law Granting Equal Security Funding to NYC Nonpublic SchoolsOn Wednesday, December 23, at a public hearing held by Mayor Bill de Blasio, Agudath Israel representative Dovid Tanenbam and other community activists praised the Mayor, Bill Sponsor Council Member David Greenfield, and other City Council Members, for their hard work and support in making Intro 65 a reality.

Intro 65 allows New York City to reimburse nonpublic schools for the cost of security guard services. Previously, only public schools were reimbursed for these services, while nonpublic schools struggled to raise the necessary funds from parents’ tuition and outside sources. In January, when Mayor de Blasio signs Intro 65 into law, public schools and nonpublic schools will finally be on an equal footing in providing a safe learning environment.

At the hearing, Mr. Tanenbaum spoke of the city’s responsibility to provide protection to all of New York City’s children. “Close to 250,000 children attend nonpublic schools in New York City, approximately 20% of the city’s children,” he said. “Their safety and security are as important as that of children who attend public schools.”

He also stressed the rising threat of anti-Semitism and terrorism, noting the importance of this law for parents in the Jewish community. “Our community feels especially vulnerable in the face of rising international and home-grown terrorism and anti-Semitism. Our parents are fearful when they send their children off to school each morning. This new law will help tremendously in increasing security, and thereby addressing that fear and calming their nerves.”

Rabbi Chaim Dovid Zwiebel, Agudath Israel’s Executive Vice President, said, “This is a landmark accomplishment, and we are grateful for the extensive efforts of Mayor de Blasio, Council Member David Greenfield, and our friends on the City Council, in addressing the inequity that existed between public and nonpublic schools in the area of security funding. Intro 65 shows that the administration and legislators in New York City are focused on the most important goal of keeping all of New York City’s children safe.”

(Author: Judith Dinowitz)