I hope you and your family are well as we try to stay warm during Tekufat Tevet. I want to share with you an executive order signed by Governor Corzine. Executive order # 161 creates the Non-Public Education Funding Commission to consider the challenges non-public school children face, identify their educational needs, and make recommendations as to how to best utilize educational services in New Jersey. Responsibilities of the commission will include reviewing ways to: a) assist non-public schools in maximize grant funding awards, through information and assistance regarding federal funding opportunities, b) incentive charitable giving to non-public schools, including whether statutory changes regarding such giving would be required, c) enrich non-public school students’ experiences through programs to acquire learning equipment such as computer, Smart Board technology, furniture and textbooks, d) to most effectively utilize state and federal funds already allocated for education within legal boundaries and to prioritize areas for such funding, e) identify issues affecting the non-public school community such as special education, handicapped issues, transportation of students, health care and nursing personnel. The commission will consist of the following members: a) the Commissioner of the New Jersey Department of Education, b) the New Jersey State Treasurer, c) the Attorney General d) nine members representing the various types of non-public schools, e) two members of the State Legislature, e) a member with considerable experience in non-profit administration, grant writing, f) five members with expertise in education, technology, and special education. This commission is instructed to supply a full report to the State Senate no later than June 1st 2010. On behalf of our entire community, I want to thank Governor Corzine for signing this order and hope that the commission’s findings and recommendations will provide much needed assistance to our many local yeshivot.
I will be in Israel during the Yeshiva winter break visiting students. I’d love to contact your son or daughter currently studying in Medinat Yisrael. Please forward to the office his/her name, school attending, and cell phone #, and I will make every effort to visit or speak to them. I will also be part of a group ascending the Har HaBayit. If you would like to join (highly recommended) please call Mr. Arthur Poleyeff at 201 -837-7696 to make a reservation and become aware of the halachic and security issues associated with this excursion. The scheduled date is Tuesday morning, January 26th.