Cuomo, Teach NYS Laud $20 Million Security Funding for Nonpublic Schools

Originally published in Five Towns Jewish Times on June 25, 2019.

Teach NYS, a project of the Orthodox Union and a leading advocate for equitable funding for New York State’s nonpublic schools, lauded Gov. Andrew Cuomo’s announcement of an additional $20 million in safety and security grant funding to nonpublic schools and day camps at risk of hate crimes, bringing the total tally for security funding to $60 million.

The new funding is in addition to the $40 million approved in the FY 2020 budget in April.

“Together, with the support of our partners — including nonpublic schools, parents, and even the students themselves — our community has raised our collective voice and advocated respectfully but forcefully for the necessary funding to ensure the safety of our students,” said Orthodox Union President Moishe Bane.

The Orthodox Union, through its state advocacy operation, Teach Coalition, has not only fought for this latest grant and other funding on the national, state, and city levels, but has also recently hired full-time staff to provide direct assistance to schools and synagogues to help them apply for the grants.

“Feeling safe in their places of learning is every student’s universal right, and we are extremely grateful to Governor Cuomo and our legislators in the Senate and Assembly, who have taken the time to hear our concerns and calls for more funding,” said Orthodox Union Executive Vice President Allen Fagin.

“This new allocation of an additional $20 million will go a long way towards ensuring New Yorkers stay safe no matter where they are,” said Assembly Member Simcha Eichenstein. “I thank Assembly Speaker Heastie and Governor Cuomo for securing this long-overdue funding. The safety and security of our children must be our number-one concern. As a member of the Assembly, I have been advocating for security funding since the day I took office and I am grateful that the governor and my Assembly colleagues recognize the significance of this funding and the difference it will make in keeping thousands of New Yorkers safe.”

Teach NYS, a division of the Orthodox Union’s Teach Coalition, was founded in 2013 to advocate for equitable government funding for New York nonpublic schools to increase security, enhance education, and defray higher tuition costs. For more information, visit TeachNYS.org.

Hate Crime Training Offered for Law Enforcement Officers

Assemblywoman Nily Rozic (D-Fresh Meadows) and State Senator Todd Kaminsky (D-Long Island) announced the passage of legislation (A3606/S3909) that they sponsored that would create hate crimes response and recognition training for state and local law enforcement officers.

“An attack on one community is an attack on all of us, so we are standing together to delineate that these hate crimes have no place in New York and no community should be subjected to hateful rhetoric and acts of violence,” Assemblywoman Nily Rozic said. “This legislation will ensure that law enforcement officers on the ground have the proper tools to recognize and respond to hate-based incidents in our efforts to root out hate and discrimination in New York.”

“We must do all we can to confront the scourge of anti-Semitism that has reared its ugly head across our state and nation,” said Senator Todd Kaminsky. “To ensure our police officers are adept at recognizing and investigating hate crimes, I introduced legislation to mandate training in that regard. I will continue to do all I can to fight antisemitism head on — our communities and society-at-large deserve no less.”

Evan R. Bernstein, Regional Director, ADL New York / New Jersey said: “We applaud Assemblymember Rozic and Senator Kaminsky for their leadership in securing passage of Assembly Bill A3606A and Senate Bill S3909A — a bill that prioritizes the importance of hate crime training for law enforcement. At a time when marginalized communities are particularly vulnerable to hate-motivated violence, and yet hate crimes remain vastly underreported, ensuring that law enforcement is equipped with the tools needed to identify and understand the unique impact of such crimes is critical to combating bias and hate in our communities. We look forward to continuing to work together in our collective fight against hate in New York.”

The bill’s passage follows months of advocacy and a roundtable discussion with community leaders and activists on the increase of hate crimes across New York. The coalition discussed how their communities can work together on legislative solutions and the grassroots response necessary following a hate-based incident. The legislation is supported by the Anti-Defamation League, the American Jewish Committee, Muslim Jewish Advisory Council, the Muslim Bar Association of New York, the Sikh Coalition, Asian Americans for Equality, and the Chinese-American Planning Council.

Rozic and Kaminsky’s legislation would implement hate crimes recognition and response training for all law enforcement agencies in the state to ensure first-responders are equipped to properly identify and handle hate-based incidents.