(JTA) — New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie eliminated an increase in security funding for nonpublic schools in his proposed state budget, sparking charges from a Jewish group that he is endangering Jewish day school students.
The proposed spending plan released Wednesday does not include the $11.2 million allowance for security at private schools that Christie signed into law six months ago. The Secure Schools for All Children Act, which was passed unanimously by the Legislature, would have raised the per-child allocation for security from $50 to $75.
“With bomb threats pouring in at JCCs all over the country, acts of anti-Semitism taking place nationwide and Jewish cemeteries being vandalized, there could not be a worse time to cut security funding for schoolchildren,” Rabbi Avi Schnall, director of the haredi Orthodox Agudath Israel of New Jersey, said in a statement.
Schnall said that by approving the bill last fall, which called for an increase in funding to non-public schools of more than $5 million, the governor had sent a clear message to New Jersey residents that the safety of private school children was no less important than that of their public school counterparts.
He called on the public to contact state legislators to urge them to restore the funding.