Monday, April 8, 2013

The New Education-Transportation Law: The Result of Years of Teamwork

Senator Simcha Felder, Assemblywoman Helene Weinstein and Rabbi Shmuel Lefkowitz join Assemblyman Dov Hikind on his radio show to celebrate the new Education Transportation Law
For years, we have been laboring together to bring yeshivos and parents much needed relief from the burden of paying for after-school transportation. As reported here, and by many others, we've finally accomplished that in Albany. This was no small feat and it's of enormous benefit to our communities.

I was delighted to have my good friends and colleagues Senator Simcha Felder, Assemblywoman Helene Weinstein and Rabbi Shmuel Lefkowitz of the Agudah join me on The Dov Hikind Show Saturday evening to discuss the history and ramifications of this historical breakthrough.

Again, thanks to the tireless efforts of many of my fellow Assembly Members and members of the New York State Senate, our great state is now going to accept the responsibility for providing transportation after 4:00 pm for children attending private and parochial schools in grades kindergarten through six.. In addition, there is a new safety measure in place; the new law will also ensure that transportation services deliver children within 600 feet of their homes.

The new transportation amendment is a huge accomplishment in terms of education, safety and financial relief. I could never understand penalizing children, parents and schools/yeshivas because they wanted more education. That was the wrong message. For many years we worked to get equitable transportation for children with longer school days. This subsidized transportation, which first passed last year, is genuinely an historic breakthrough that will help our yeshivas, parents and our community. Last year we saw the first big step in the direction of being fair and equitable. Now, we take an even bigger step.

In addition to the work done by Simcha, Helene and Rabbi Lefkowitz, this education milestone would not have been possible without Assembly Speaker Sheldon Silver and Senate Majority Leader Dean Skelos. The bill also had the passionate support of many of my colleagues, including Assembly Members Steven Cymbrowitz, Phillip Goldfeder, Mike Simanowitz and David Weprin, as well as State Senator Marty Golden, to say nothing of the other leaders of Agudath Israel of America, Rabbi Shiya Ostreicher and Rabbi Shimon Ostreicher.

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