Budget Bureau Recommends $41,000 Now for Dropout Program; Balance of $100,000 Grant Due Later This Y

The National Council of Young Israel, which was expected to be granted around $100,000 today by the Board of Estimate for aid to dropouts, appears about to have to settle for a partial sum of $41,000, at least as of now. Rabbi Ephraim Sturm, national vice-president of the Council, advised the Jewish Telegraphic Agency today that the city’s Budget Bureau was recommending that the Board of Estimate approve now $41,000 for the five-month period Feb. 1-July 1, with a full-year sum to be approved next fall for the September, 1972-July, 1973 school year.

No action, however, was taken today. But Rabbi Sturm said he was “taking an awful chance” today by committing himself to paying teachers for the three Jewish schools to be funded by the program–one in the Council building, one in Williamsburg, Brooklyn, and one in Far Rockaway, Queens. He said 120 students would be taught four hours a week and that the teachers–who need master’s degrees–would receive the lowest instructional pay in the city–$15 an hour.

Rabbi Sturm said that while he was disappointed that a full-year sum will not be approved all at once, “I must admit that academically they’re right.” If by some unforeseen circumstance much less than $41,000 is approved for Feb. 1-July 1, he said, he will have lost a week’s worth of salaries, but he said the commitment to hire the teachers had to be made without further delay. The students will be geared toward the civil service because, he said, the increase in non-white, non-Jewish neighborhoods has made Jews’ admission to teacher-training schools less certain and less desirable.

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