Earlier today, the City Council passed a measure, introduced by City Councilmember David Greenfield, which will reimburse the city’s larger nonpublic schools for costs they incur in hiring private security guards. The historic agreement between New York City Mayor Bill de Blasio, City Council Speaker Melissa Mark-Viverito and Councilman David Greenfield, was enthusiastically welcomed by Agudath Israel of America.
“This is a tremendous achievement,” said Agudath Israel’s executive vice president Rabbi Chaim Dovid Zwiebel. “Parents of nonpublic school children throughout the city will now breathe a sigh of relief knowing that, at a time when the world has become increasingly dangerous, their precious children are afforded a serious measure of protection. Thank you Councilman Greenfield, thank you Mayor De Blasio, thank you Speaker Mark Viverito, thank you to all the elected officials who made this happen.”
The measure, which has been in the works for a number of years, is expected to take effect on April 1, 2016.
Agudath Israel and other nonpublic school groups co-sponsored a conference call with Councilman Greenfield last week where details of this bill were discussed. Approximately $20 million have been allocated to reimburse nonpublic schools with 300 or more pre-K to twelfth grade students to provide unarmed security officers whenever the school has instruction or during school-related events. An additional security officer will be provided for a nonpublic school with 500 students, with one additional officer per subsequent 500 students. Security officers must be state-licensed and city-approved and must receive prevailing wages.
“This is a bill whose time has come,” said Mrs. Deborah Zachai, Agudath Israel’s Director for Education Affairs. “We are looking forward to working with the city on the bill’s implementation.”
In the interim, Mrs. Zachai’s office has sent the NYC yeshivos an Intro 65-A Fact Sheet, prepared by Councilman Greenfield’s office, which summarizes several key provisions of the bill.