A bill that significantly increases security funding for non-public schools was signed into law on Tuesday. It raises the amounts allotted to schools from $25 to $75 per student. The vote was hailed by advocates of the Jewish community.
Earlier this year, Assemblymen Gary Schaer and Joseph Lagana, both Democrats representing the Bergen and Passaic areas, and a team of seven co-sponsors introduced the present legislation, known as “The Secure Schools for All Children Act.”In June it passed the both houses unanimously.
Agudath Israel of America, the Orthodox Union and the Catholic Conference all actively advocated for the bill’s passage.
“Establishing a new law that will require the state to provide funding on an annual basis, protecting the lives of more than 150,000 non-public school students is a step in the right direction and a[n] impressive response by the Governor and Legislative Leadership to our message that all students should be treated equally in the provision of health care and safety,” said Josh Pruzansky, New Jersey Regional Director of the Orthodox Union Advocacy Center.
Grants must be used exclusively for security needs, and all expenditures will be under the supervision of each district’s superintendent.
In light of increasing terror threats, additional protection for religious and other private schools has become a greater priority. Similar legislation to help increase security in private schools in New York City was signed into law in January.