Teach NYS is a project of the Orthodox Union, a not-for-profit organization. Teach NYS is the leading voice for New York’s Jewish day school community. With nearly 200,000 students in Jewish day schools across New York State, our schools educate and empower our children and play a critical role in the civic life of our communities.
Founded in 2012 as a project of the Orthodox Union, Teach NYS works to ensure that elected officials and policy leaders in Albany and New York City recognize the needs of our member schools and the essential contribution that Jewish schools make to New York’s communities. By organizing robust, grassroots campaigns to elevate the voices of parents, students, and schools, Teach NYS delivers meaningful change for the nonpublic school community.
Our Mission and Goals
At Teach NYS, our mission is to strengthen the nonpublic school community and ensure that all children have the opportunity to receive a strong religious and secular education. Jewish day schools and yeshivas endow our children with a deeper appreciation of the Jewish faith, building the foundation for their future as active members of the Jewish community.
Every Jewish day school and yeshiva in New York should offer an affordable, high-quality education and a safe, productive learning environment. To make this vision a reality, Teach NYS fights to secure local and state funding for our schools: funding that supports everything from classroom technology to security guards and health programs. In addition, we work to ensure Jewish day schools and yeshivas to tap into all available funding opportunities.
Some of our recent victories for Jewish day schools include:
Over the past several years, one of the main concerns voiced by the Jewish community has been the safety of our children. We live in a world where violent attacks victimize innocent people on the streets, in schools, and in places of worship, and it is more critical than ever that our day schools and yeshivas are protected.
In New York City, our schools have long lacked equivalent protection as public schools. Teach NYS and our community allies spoke out against this disparity, and spent two years fighting to correct it. In January 2015 our efforts paid off, and Mayor de Blasio signed a law providing nonpublic schools across the city with $20 million to hire private security guards.
To quell the tuition affordability crisis currently facing the Jewish day school community, Teach NYS is fighting to ensure existing universal pre-kindergarten programs include our children. New York State has heard our message: in 2016, Governor Cuomo plans to devote $807 million to expanding New York’s Universal Pre-Kindergarten program, providing more of our schools with the funding they need to lower tuition rates. In New York City, we’re asking Mayor de Blasio to adjust the requirements for his UPK program so that all of our schools and all of our children can participate.
Comprehensive Attendance Policy & Mandated Services Reimbursement
Since 2012, Teach NYS has advocated for increases to Mandated Services Reimbursement and the Comprehensive Attendance Policy, two vital New York State programs that assist our schools. In 2015, we secured significant increases to both CAP and MSR. Our concerted advocacy also pushed Governor Cuomo to allocate over $250 million in back payments to CAP for the many years it was severely underfunded. Teach NYS estimates that our schools will receive some $90 million dollars as part of this agreement.
Teach NYS is working to provide more Jewish day schools and yeshivas with access to the same energy efficiency programs and discounts that public schools receive. In 2013, we joined a bipartisan group of New York State legislators to introduce the Energy Parity Act into the New York State Assembly and Senate. This bill, if enacted as proposed, would end the “utility discrimination” practiced by the New York Power Authority (NYPA) against nonpublic schools, saving our schools thousands of dollars every year on electric bills.
Maximize Government Funding
Teach NYS provides guidance for schools as they navigate government programs. Our staff meets with school administrators and boards to review utilization of programs including nursing, busing, library loans, Mandated Services, E-rate, Free Lunch, and Title funding, helping ensure schools receive all available Federal, State, and local funds.