A group of 30 Brooklyn high school juniors, half from the Yeshivah of Flatbush and half from Nazareth High School, will appeal for passage of the Education Tax Credit during a day of meetings with lawmakers on Thursday, February 26. The advocacy mission was organized by OU Advocacy-Teach NYS, the nonpartisan public policy arm of the Orthodox Union.
School officials have scheduled 60 meetings with state legislators, asking them to push their leaders to include the tax credit in the enacted State Budget. The students will attend the meetings in groups of two, one from each school.
“This mission serves two purposes: to introduce our state legislators to some of the students who are directly affected by the Education Tax Credit bill, and to demonstrate to our students that advocacy-making your voice heard-can influence legislators and have a powerful impact on our daily lives,” said Arielle Frankston-Morris, Director of Field Operations for OU Advocacy-Teach NYS.
“This advocacy day is a perfect example of the interfaith, grassroots movement that has brought the Education Tax Credit to the brink of passage here in New York,” said Richard E. Barnes, executive director of the New York State Catholic Conference. “We’re very proud to stand together in this cause.”
The Education Tax Credit would encourage individuals and corporations to make charitable contributions to public schools or scholarship-making organizations for tuition-paying families. Gov. Andrew Cuomo has included the credit in his Executive Budget, and the state Senate has once again passed a tax credit bill sponsored by Senators Martin J. Golden (R-Brooklyn) and Simcha Felder (D-Brooklyn). The proposal, sponsored by Assembly Member Michael Cusick (D-Staten Island) is supported by a majority of the state Assembly as well.
The top priority during the 2015 Legislative Session for OU Advocacy-Teach NYS and the New York State Catholic Conference is passing the Education Tax Credit-which could generate an unprecedented amount of support to tuition-paying families-and ensuring that the program benefits the broadest swath of New York’s schoolchildren.