As New York City works out the details that will make children in nonpublic schools just a bit safer, Agudath Israel provided testimony today at the New York City Department of Citywide Administrative Services (DCAS) public hearing on the proposed rules for the NYC Security Reimbursement Program.
This program will reimburse qualifying nonpublic schools for the cost of procuring security guard services. The proposed rules set forth the criteria and process for the selection of qualified providers of security services, define the eligibility criteria of the nonpublic schools that seek to participate in the program and establish a process for schools to obtain reimbursement for procuring security guard services.
Avrohom Weinstock, Esq., Associate Director of Education Affairs, Agudath Israel of America, opened by explaining that Agudath Israel of America (AIA) proudly represents the rights and interests of Jews across the United States, including the nearly 100,000 Jewish nonpublic school children in New York City. He thanked Mayor Bill de Blasio, the City Council, with particular recognition to Councilman David Greenfield, and the Department of Citywide Administrative Services (DCAS) for administering this program.
He then voiced several recommendations to streamline and clarify various elements of the program, including the application process and the legal requirements of the Memorandum of Understanding which the qualifying schools will be required to enter into.
Mrs. Deborah Zachai, Director of Education Affairs, Agudath Israel of America, elaborated with a number of incisive suggestions regarding incident reporting, the training required of security guard companies and other details of administration and reimbursement.
Comments from both Mrs. Zachai and Mr. Weinstock were then formally submitted in writing, so that the city may take these suggestions into account before finalizing the laws surrounding the administration of the program.
Mr. Weinstock closed with powerful words, “With the help of this program, and other such initiatives, may G-d grant this great city a measure of security and equanimity in this increasingly uncertain world.”