Huge Boost for STEM Teacher Funding in NY Governor Budget

Governor Kathy Hochul’s proposed budget for 2022-2023 included $55 million in funding for STEM in nonpublic schools, including yeshivas and Jewish day schools. Teach NYS, which has steadily worked with government officials to increase STEM funding, reacted to the news with praise for the Governor’s commitment to fair funding for excellence in education for all students.

These funds will reimburse nonpublic schools for the salaries of qualified grades 3–12 STEM teachers as part of the STEM Teacher Reimbursement Program, a revolutionary step in the effort toward solving the tuition crisis.

Since 2017, Teach NYS and thousands of parents and students work closely with bipartisan policymakers in Albany each year to advocate for more funding of the program to ensure that all students have access to highly-qualified Stem teachers. Over the past five years, reimbursements to nonpublic schools is valued at $120 million, impacting students across the state.

“It’s clear that the government recognizes the crucial importance of STEM education in our contemporary world and is committed to expanding the capacity of our schools to provide an excellent STEM education without incurring additional cost,” declared Dan Mitzner, Director of Government Affairs for Teach NYS. “That’s what we call a win-win, and the ones who benefit the most are our children.”

The funding received through this program helps position the Jewish community’s day schools to contend in the increasingly tech-driven 21st century world without negatively impacting their budgets.

“I regularly see the difference this funding makes because by being able to allocate optimal resources towards staffing. We now have other resources available to give our students an enhanced education across the disciplines and in all areas,” said Raizi Chechik, Head of School at Manhattan Day School.

 While the governor first unveils the proposed budget for the coming fiscal year in January, the announced amount is only a starting point for advocates as they continue campaigning for increased funding while legislative leaders in the New York State Assembly and Senate negotiate to finalize the budget by April 1.

“This latest announcement of funding for STEM education in nonpublic schools is an important step to help solve the communal tuition crisis while maximizing our children’s potential to succeed,” said Moshe Bane, president of the Orthodox Union. “It also shows how lay involvement and communal participation can truly effect the change we need and inspires us to continue working hard to ensure our children’s future.”

 

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