The ‘American Rescue Plan’ federal stimulus package includes $2.75 billion for private schools.
The money is available for religious private schools as well.
The pandemic aid was inserted into the massive $1.9 trillion bill in the Senate, at the behest of Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer.
Schumer, a Democrat from New York, fought to include the billions of aid to private schools after the House of representatives allocated billions for public schools only. Jewish community organizations and local Catholic leaders representing private catholic school lobbied him extensively, the New York Times reported.
Schumer said in a statement to Jewish Insider, “This fund, without taking any money away from public schools, will enable private schools, like yeshivas and more, to receive assistance and services that will cover Covid-related expenses they incur as they deliver quality education for their students.”
The initial funding for private schools was no more than $200 million before Schumer negotiated it to more than twelve times that.
The Orthodox Union’s Executive Director for Public Policy, Nathan Diament, stated “The Orthodox Jewish community in New York and across the United States is immensely grateful to Sen. Chuck Schumer for his leadership and determination to pass the American Rescue Plan and ensuring that it contains key provisions to deliver essential aid to our communities’ schools, synagogues as well as other nonprofit institutions on the front lines of supporting Americans as we weather this crisis.”