new york school bus

New York Lawmakers Call For Increased Security Funding For Non-Public Schools

The budget request hopes to make Jewish educational institutions safer in the wake of an increase in anti-Semitic attacks.

In response to an increase in anti-Semitic attacks targeting Jewish businesses and religious centers, two New York Assembly members are calling upon the legislature to increase the amount spent on security funding for nonpublic schools across the state.

Typically, New York’s budget allocates $15 million for the Nonpublic School Safety Equipment Grant, which amounts to about $37 per child, according to QNS, a news outlet based out of Queens.

Now, Assembly members Daniel Rosenthal and Stacey Pheffer Amato want the New York legislature to double the allocation to $30 million in a move to protect Jewish schools from a rise in anti-Semitic hate crimes.

“All children — public school and nonpublic school alike — need to feel and be safe,” Rosenthal said in a statement, referencing conversations he has had with constituents about their security concerns. “No parent should have to worry about their child being the target of hate-fueled violence. Anti-Semitism has no place in New York; this funding affirms our commitment to protecting our children.”

The effort appears to be following a precedent set by New Jersey in late 2018, when the legislature passed a bill to give an additional $11.3 million in security funding to private and religious schools. In 2019, the amount spent on student security at New Jersey’s nonpublic schools doubled from $75 to $150.

The New York grant program is currently available to nearly all nonpublic K-12 schools, including religious educational institutions, to receive funding for a wide variety of security upgrades and safety items. As New York City saw a 26 percent increase in anti-Semitic attacks -- 55 percent of all hate crimes in the city -- lawmakers say that it is imperative to address how schools can protect targeted communities.

“I feel strongly that this funding is critical to take a stand against the recent spike in anti-Semitic hate crimes which, unfortunately, show no sign of decelerating,” Pheffer Amato said. “I am hopeful that this funding will be granted so that a measure of peace can be felt by those who may be targeted, and so that we join together to demonstrate our stand against hate.”

Other New York religious leaders, including Catholic school leaders, have supported the move, according to QNS.

About the Author

Haley Samsel is an Associate Content Editor for the Infrastructure Solutions Group at 1105 Media.

Featured

  • Making Safety and Security Intrinsic to School Design

    Public anxieties about school safety are escalating across the country. According to a 2023 Gallup report, 44% of parents fear for their child’s physical safety at school, a 10 percentage-point increase since 2019. Unfortunately, these fears are likely to increase if the incidence of school tragedies continues to mount. As a result, school leaders are now charged with two non-negotiable responsibilities. The first, as always, is to ensure kids have what they need to learn, grow, and thrive. Sadly, their second responsibility is to keep the children in their care safe from threats and physical danger. Read Now

  • Unlocking Peace of Mind

    In a perfect world, every school would have an unlimited budget to help secure their schools. In reality, schools must prioritize what budget they have while navigating the complexities surrounding school security and lockdown Read Now

  • Emerging Campus Access Control Solutions

    Emerging solutions in campus access control can mean different things. Usually, we expect the topic to focus on the very latest in door security products and solutions that have just been recently released or are about to be launched. After all, staying up on improvements to keep campuses safer is critical. Plus, it’s always interesting and exciting to learn what’s new and how innovations are going to better protect lives and assets and help the industry be even more successful. Read Now

  • Here’s How Instructional Audio Can Play a Key Role in School Safety

    Ensuring the safety of students and employees is critical in today’s educational environment. While the threat of a school shooting is in the back of everyone’s mind, the truth is there are many possible scenarios that could crop up at any time in classrooms, hallways, and other school spaces—from fights or altercations to a sick child or staff member who requires emergency attention. Read Now

Webinars