EDITOR’S NOTE (Nick Stamatakis): The news from the New York Times is loud and clear: “Schumer and a Teachers’ Union Leader Secure Billions for Private Schools”… (You can read a similar report from the Jewish Telegraphic Agency – below). What is not clear in the title has to do with the tremendous pressure applied to Senator Chuck Schumer by the powerful Orthodox Jewish Community of New York. But reading these articles you will realize that the almost $3 billion (included in the latest $1.9 Trillion “covid relief” package voted in Congress a week ago) was aid specifically aimed for private schools and passed despite the Teachers Unions’ general objection. It passed thanks to Chuck Schumer’s connection to the Orthodox Jewish community and to the surprising turn of a Union leader Randi Weingarten (with a lot of help by the Jewish husband of Kamala Harris)…
It’s a flood of money going for private schools -and a huge opportunity for our remaining parochial schools… Frankly, I have many doubts whether our current leadership has the ability to take advantage of this situation – and I am talking specifically for GOA and their Education Office. They seem to be ecstatic about charter schools and totally indifferent about our remaining parochial schools. But within the last few months, we had a tremendous change in the social situation: First, the wave of “cancel culture”, attempting even to eliminate terms like “mother” and “father”, has turned parents away from public schools towards parochial/religious schools. Second, this social trend is now coupled with the flood of federal money for such schools. Will GOA start planning to take advantage of the exceptional new opportunity or they will keep their sleepy course to extinction?
The lack of leadership is enormous. GOA (meaning Karloutsos and AB Elpidophoros) had no problem supporting “Black Lives Matter”, had no problem supporting the corrupt Biden family, had no problem supporting the even more corrupt Cuomo but when the time came to step in and to take action and do real lobbying – as they had every right to – they stayed silent. The Catholics and the Orthodox Jews went to Court to demand the opening of their Churches and Synagogues – GOA was nowhere to be found… Recently, when the Federal Government opened the floodgates of the “money printshop”, the Orthodox Jews lobbied for “free money” for their Yeshivas… And thanks to them we might benefit also – if the usually lazy “officials” decide to act…
Where was GOA? Where is the Leadership when it is needed? Will Karloutsos pick up the phone and do some actual work for the community if he is not guaranteed a “fundraising fee”? What a shame!…
The least we expect is some kind of a plan for the remaining parochial schools – to take advantage of this money… Will the Education Office act? I am not holding my breath…
SOURCE: JEWISH TELEGRAPHIC AGENCY
By Andrew Silow Carroll
After successful lobbying by Orthodox Jewish groups and others, Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer tucked $2.75 billion in aid for private schools into the $1.9 trillion pandemic rescue package.
The move came over the objections of some Democratic leaders, including House Speaker Nancy Pelosi, and public school advocates who have fought efforts to funnel federal money to private schools. The National Education Association expressed “strong disappointment” at what it called a “Betsy DeVos-era” policy, referring to former President Donald Trump’s education secretary.
The funding did pick up a surprise endorsement from Randi Weingarten, head of the American Federation of Teachers and a frequent critic of government aid for sectarian schooling. She told The New York Times “it would be a ‘shonda’ if we didn’t actually provide the emotional support and nonreligious supports that all of our children need right now,” using the Yiddish word for “scandal.”
Nathan Diament, public policy director at the Orthodox Union, thanked Schumer, a New York Democrat.
“It’s still the case that 10 percent of America’s students are in nonpublic schools, and they are just as impacted by the crisis as the other 90 percent,” Diament told The Times.
A previous coronavirus stimulus signed by Trump in December included $2.75 billion for private schools hit hard by the pandemic, a move backed by Orthodox and Roman Catholic groups. The current package directs governors to prioritize the private-school funding for schools serving disadvantaged students and private schools “most impacted” by the virus, according to Education Week.