Gov. Tom Wolf and the Pennsylvania state legislature have awarded $3.2 million to help secure non-public schools, including nine Jewish day schools and yeshivas, one year after the massacre at the Tree of Life building.
Lawmakers added the additional funds as part of the 2019-2020 fiscal budget. The money will be used to expand safety provisions to include security equipment and program grants. Five years ago, Pennsylvania was the first state in the nation to fund security personnel at nonpublic schools through the Safe Schools Targeted Grant Program.
Teach PA, a project of the Orthodox Union, advocated along with parents, students and community members for the additional funding. Arielle Frankston-Morris, executive director of Teach PA, said in a statement, “We thank Gov. Wolf and our state legislatures for awarding these funds to nonpublic schools, making our students and educators safe. The rise in school violence and anti-Semitic attacks, motivated us to spearhead this security campaign and we are thrilled to see these awards announced.”
Dan Mitzner, director of state political affairs at Teach Coalition, of which Teach PA is a division, said in a statement that “with continued teamwork, we hope to achieve even more, to keep all Pennsylvania’s schoolchildren and at-risk institutions safe.” PJC
— David Rullo