Orthodox Union Applauds Governor Christie’s Signing the Joint Purchasing Bill into Law

josh_pruzansky_ou_tlsThe Orthodox Union (OU) applauds Governor Chris Christie for signing the Joint Purchasing Bill (A-3398/S-3089) into law.

The bill, which allows non-public schools to participate in joint purchasing agreements entered into by two or more school districts, was the idea of Assemblywomen Valerie Vainieri Huttle (D-37 Bergen) and Amy Handlin (R-13 Monmouth) and Senator Robert Gordon (D-38 Bergen).

Sponsored by a bipartisan group of 15 legislators, including Assemblyman Gary Schaer (D-36 Passaic) and Senate Majority Leader Loretta Weinberg (D-37 Bergen), this bill sets a precedent of bipartisan support for equal opportunity for non-public schools and their students, as well as the taxpaying parents who selected schools that best suit their children’s educational needs.

“Joint purchasing agreements help school districts save money and redirect financial resources,” said Asw. Huttle. “This legislation will enhance this by allowing private schools to join with public schools in the same district.”

“Leveraging the purchasing power of non-public schools in a joint purchasing agreement benefits students, schools and taxpayers,” said Asw. Handlin. “There is a broad-based consensus that we must examine ways to reduce expenses and take advantage of efficiencies at all levels of government. Including non-public schools in shared purchasing agreements enhances the ability of school districts to negotiate a better deal and lower their procurement costs.”

Josh Pruzansky, New Jersey Regional Director of the OU Advocacy Center, the non-partisan public policy arm of the OU, said, “For far too long the non-public schools and their parent bodies have been treated as the ‘step-children’ in this state. The time has come to start treating the 10 percent of students in this state in an equitable way to the 90 percent. We appreciate the legislators from both sides of the aisle who understand this concept and will keep our students in mind for future legislation.”

OU Advocacy is working on additional legislative items on behalf of New Jersey Jewish day schools during this legislative session, including non-public placement for special education students, increased funding for technology, nursing, textbooks and security in the state budget, and tax credits for families that send their children to non-public schools. [TLS]

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