Agudath Israel Celebrates Many Priorities for Yeshivas and Families in NYS Budget
As we have reported, the 2023-24 New York State budget has been passed at long last, following feisty negotiations between lawmakers.
But, as the dust settles on this news, Agudas Yisroel of America—which has expended incredible advocacy energies during the entire process—is celebrating many positive items for our community contained in this budget, and just as importantly, what is not in this budget.
“One of the most important successes for yeshivas for this year’s New York State budget is actually what’s not in the budget,” said Rabbi AD Motzen, National Director of State Relations of Agudath Israel in America. For the last fifty years yeshivos have been receiving reimbursements from the state for items that the state mandates.”
However, early language in this bill would have seen these funds drastically diminished. Agudah’s Rabbi Yeruchim Silber, Agudah’s Director of New York Government Relations, testified in Albany, and worked mightily with other coalition partners toward the successful removal of that language, saving the Mandated Services Aid Program.
The reinserting of that language alone saved private schools around $17 million in the coming year alone, and hundreds of millions of dollars over the long term,” said Rabbi Motzen.
In addition to this, the budget also includes a major expansion of childcare funding by extending the Empire Child Credit to include children under the age of 4, allocates $45 million for the Non-Public School Safety and Equipment (NPSE) Security Grant, and includes $134 million to expand free lunch and breakfast in school.
Agudath Israel thanked the many who traveled to Albany and reached out to their legislators in order to make their voices heard on these crucial issues for our yeshivos and families.