Day schools just got a leg up at City Hall.
City Council Speaker Melissa Mark-Viverito announced today the creation of a new subcommittee on non-public schools and the appointment of freshman Councilman Chaim Deutsch to chair it (and serve as its only member).
“The creation of this committee is long overdue,” said Deutsch in a written statement. “While I fully support our public schools and will work to make them the best possible, fairness demands that appropriate recognition must be given to parents and taxpayers who choose to send their children to independent, parochial or private schools.”
Deutsch, an early backer of Mark-Viverito’s bid for speaker, represents the 48th Council District, which includes the heavily Jewish neighborhoods of Brighton Beach, Manhattan Beach, Sheepshead Bay and parts of Midwood. He, like all committee chairs, will get a stipend, raising his $112,500 annual paycheck by $8,000.
Agudath Israel of America, an umbrella group for haredi organizations, praised the announcement.
“The city’s nonpublic school community includes some 270,000 students, comprising more than 20 percent of the total city school population. It is about time that such a large and diverse population had its needs focused on by the City Council,” Rabbi Chaim Dovid Zwiebel, the organization’s executive vice president, said in a statement released Wednesday.
As for Deutsch as its chair, Zwiebel was over the moon.
“As a product of Jewish schools himself, and as a parent of children who now attend Jewish schools, he has first-hand knowledge of the challenges these schools face,” he said.