New Jersey private schools awarded increased funding in budget signed by Governor Murphy

Funding is for transportation, security, remediation, and school nurses. Earlier this year, legislators scrapped a bill that would’ve helped fund private school tuition.

Governor Murphy at a Menorah lighting ceremony. Inset: Assemblyman Avi Schnall

Jul 3, 2024 12:18 PM


New Jersey private schools got an increase in funding this year from the state budget, according to two Orthodox Jewish groups that advocate for such funding, Agudath Israel of America and the Orthodox Union’s Teach Coalition.

These advocacy groups failed this year in their effort to pass legislation that would’ve helped fund private school tuition, after their proposed bill faced opposition from groups that feared it would divert resources from public schools.

Still, more so than in past years, private schools were awarded funding for transportation, technology, school security, school nurses, and remedial education in the budget bill signed by Governor Phil Murphy on Friday, the two groups said. Per the Agudah’s calculations, this funding all combined amounted to over $140 million.

Both the Agudah and the Teach Coalition thanked Assemblymembers Avi Schnall and Gary Schaer — Democrats who represent Lakewood and Passaic respectively — for their roles in advocating for the funding.

“This is due to the hard work of our legislative champions, Assemblyman Gary Schaer and Assemblyman Rabbi Avi Schnall,” Katie Katz, the executive director of the New Jersey branch of the Teach Coalition, wrote in an email to supporters on Monday.

In a press release, Shlomo Schorr, Agudah’s director of legislative affairs for New Jersey, boasted about securing funding for private schools despite what he described as “a tough fiscal environment in the state, which resulted in a multi-billion deficit.”

Nearly 40% of private school students in New Jersey attended Jewish schools as of 2022, according to data from the Teach Coalition. Most of these students went to school in Lakewood, a Haredi enclave in Ocean County.