20, 000 Pupils in New York Jewish Day Schools Benefit from Federal Aid

Torah Umesorah, the National Society for Hebrew Day Schools, reported today that it had assisted 20, 000 pupils in Jewish day schools in New York City poverty areas to receive $80, 000 worth of audio visual equipment during the 1966-67 school year. The equipment on loan to the 50 schools located in poverty areas constitutes but one phase of the benefits accruing to nonpublic schools from the Elementary and Secondary Education Act first passed by Congress in 1965.

“Since the passage of the Act, endless negotiations with New York City Board of Education carried on amid opposition of groups opposed to Federal Aid to nonpublic schools have seriously stymied the flow of services and remedial help to educationally disadvantaged children attending Hebrew Day Schools, ” the Torah Umesorah report stated. “It was first in April of 1966 that New York City – where nearly 50 percent of Day Schools are located – finally evolved a plan for aiding Day Schools in poverty-impact areas. This plan provided limited services to Day Schools and only in the areas of Corrective reading Art. Library Services and Speech. “

Despite limitations, the officials said. Title I funds have been provided for corrective reading for 34 Jewish day schools, for health education in 22 schools, for music aids in 12 schools, for art training in 21 schools, for speech services in 23 schools and for library services in 16 schools.

Torah Umesorah sent congratulatory messages on behalf of the Day School movement to New York State legislators and to Governor Rockefeller for their passage of an educational measure which would allow non-public school pupils in grades 7 through 12 to borrow textbooks for their secular subjects from their local school boards. The New York State assembly approved the textbooks bill by an overwhelming vote of 136-18 and the Senate by a 50-7 margin.

The Textbook Act which will go into effect on September 1, 1966, provides for all New York State pupils in grades 7 through 12 in both public and non-public schools to receive or to borrow $15 worth of secular textbooks for the first 3 years and $10, 000 thereafter. This sum is the maximum which will be reimbursed to the local School Board by the State.

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