This week’s newsletter includes executive budget updates from New York and Maryland. Thankfully, both governors included significant funding for nonpublic school students.

In advance of National School Choice Week (see more here), Rabbi Soroka provided an exciting update on the communal effort to apply for millions of scholarship dollars in Illinois.

I am often asked, “which state has the best school choice program in the country?” We actually created a chart (here) just to avoid answering that question. It details the different scholarship programs in states with Orthodox Jewish day schools. There are more than 50 scholarship programs in more than 25 states and there is no perfect program or even a “best” program. So the real question is, what program is best for your child?

Eligibility and scholarship amounts vary widely and depend on many factors: How much money do you earn? Do you live in an eligible geographic area? Did your child attend public school last semester? Does your child have special needs? Feel free to contact me or one of our state directors for more details.

While serious concerns remain, we were happy to see that a federal judge dismissed a lawsuit filed by YAFFED in response to the “Felder Amendment.” The judge, citing from a brief submitted by Agudath Israel and  other groups, noted that our Jewish schools “are responsible for the rebirth of the Jewish community out of the ashes of destruction in Eastern Europe, and are what today ensures and allows for the continuity and growth of the Jewish community in New York and around the country.” To read the decision and for more details about that case, see below.

And finally, for those who haven’t seen it yet, earlier this week, Rabbi Yeruchim Silber, appeared on Agudah Live to discuss our  activities in Albany and to discuss the status of the New York State Education Department’s Substantial Equivalency issue.