Orthodox Union, Agudah Commend Legislature For Rejecting Budget Cuts To Yeshivos


kidsToday, the Orthodox Union commended the New York State Legislature for passage of a deficit reduction plan that rejected all planned cuts to nonpublic schools, including yeshivas and Jewish day schools.¬†Governor Paterson’s proposal called for a ten percent reduction in mandated services reimbursement, in millions of dollars.

Howie Beigelman, OU Deputy Director of Public Policy, stated:

“We thank the Legislature, especially the leadership, Speaker Silver, Leader Sampson and Leader Skelos, for their efforts at ensuring that nonpublic schools – including Jewish day schools and yeshivas – are not unfairly burdened in this economic downturn. Asking parents and schools to take this cut now would have been disastrous.”

Agudath Israel Lauds NYS Legislature’s Budget Vote

New York State legislators approved a plan on Wednesday to close the state’s budget deficit, drawing high praise from Agudath Israel of America for the plan’s rejection of cuts to education, including a proposed approximately $11 million cut to the state’s nonpublic schools.

Had that proposed cut been enacted, yeshivos and day schools across the state would have suffered a loss of approximately $3 million. Now, though, with today’s vote in Albany, the funding will remain intact.

Rabbi Shmuel Lefkowitz, the organization’s vice president for community services, had warm words of thanks for the state legislature, and singled out Democratic Conference Leader John L. Sampson, who opposed cuts to education from the start and particularly objected to disproportionate cuts to nonpublic schools.

The Agudath Israel representative also lauded “the thousands in the community who responded to our legislative action alerts and contacted legislators about their concerns for nonpublic education funding in these trying financial times.”

Rabbi Lefkowitz also praised New York State Assembly Speaker Sheldon Silver for his efforts to protect education from budget cuts.

Among the State Senators Rabbi Lefkowitz singled out by name for the Orthodox Jewish community’s gratitude were Minority Leader Dean G. Skelos, and Senators John J. Bonacic, Ruben Diaz, Martin J. Golden, Shirley L. Huntley, Thomas P. Morahan, Frank Padavan and Stephen M. Saland. He had particularly warm words for State Senator Carl Kruger, who, the Agudath Israel representative said, “has proven himself a true friend to our community since he arrived in the Senate fifteen years ago.”

{Dovid Bernstein-Matzav.com Newscenter}