Video: Rabbi Avi Schnall, Director of the Agudath Israel New Jersey Office, Asking Governor Murphy for Increased Security Funding for Nonpublic Schools

In his budget address yesterday, Governor Phil Murphy proposed increasing the funding for the New Jersey Nonpublic Security Grant Program (NJ-NSGP), more than doubling it from its current $2 million to $5 million.

Unfortunately, events over the past year have shaken the religious community’s sense of security as we witnessed terror attacks on synagogues and Jewish locations across America. The Nonprofit Security Grant Program is a necessary and very much welcome resource for houses of worship, schools, community centers and other nonprofits who often lack the funds to properly secure their premises.

We applaud Governor Murphy for proposing to increase the NPSG. Throughout his time in office, Governor Murphy has demonstrated refreshing leadership in ensuring that religious communities feel safe here in New Jersey, and this latest proposal is yet another example of his support.

In addition, the Governor proposed an increase for private school security funding, raising the per pupil amount from its current $150 to $200. Feeling safe and secure in school is the right of all students, regardless of where they attend school. The increase in funding will result in a safer learning environment for New Jersey’s 150,000 private school students, including 50,000 yeshiva students.

Since Governor Murphy has taken office he has more than doubled the per pupil amount of funding for nonpublic schools in New Jersey. Along with thousands of parents, teachers and students across the state, we thank the governor and commend his unwavering commitment to the safety of all of New Jersey’s students.

Much credit is due to Assemblyman Gary Schaer who has tirelessly championed the effort to provide funding for private school security. Five years ago, private schools in New Jersey were not receiving any security funds, unlike their public school counterparts. That changed when Assemblyman Schaer introduced legislation to ensure that all students – even those attending private schools – feel safe and secure. In the original bill, the amount approved was a modest $25 per pupil. Today, thanks to Governor Murphy and Assemblyman Schaer, who have unflinchingly stewarded the effort, New Jersey leads the nation in providing security funds to private schools. This latest increase puts us further in their debt.