Tuesday, March 20, 2012

Fighting for Transportation for Yeshiva and Private School Children


I am battling in Albany to provide transportation after 5pm for children attending yeshivas in grades kindergarten through sixth. The goal is subsidized door-to-door transportation for children to ensure their safety.

Currently, the city denies transportation to students who are in school after 4:30pm, but it’s critical to make certain our young yeshiva students arrive home safely. Our kids shouldn’t be penalized for having an extended school day. What kind of message is that? And parents who pay extra to send their children to yeshivas shouldn’t have to worry about their children’s safety. We deserve our fair share. With the help of my colleagues, I’m fighting to ensure that our children are delivered home safely after 5 pm.

The amended education law that I'm fighting for would also ensure that the children are dropped off as close to their homes as possible.

In addition to a fair share of transportation costs, I'm seeking an equitable share of mandated services. Our community has been short-changed in reimbursements for C.A.P.  The Comprehensive Attendance Policy, part of New York State mandated services, has a harsh impact on yeshiva budgets. In these difficult economic times, it’s crucial that we receive our equitable share.

I'm working with Assemblywoman Helene Weinstein as well as Assembly Members Mike Simanowitz, Phillip Goldfeder, Steven Cymbrowitz, and many other members of the Legislature to ensure the funding of transportation and C.A.P. costs.

My sincere thanks to the leaders of Agudath Israel of America for leading the charge for these changes. Rabbi Shmuel Lefkowitz and Rabbi Shiya Ostreicher have been working tirelessly alongside myself with Assembly Speaker Sheldon Silver and Senate Majority Leader Dean Skelos to ensure that these changes will be made. With Hashem’s help, we’re going to see positive changes in Albany.

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