DeVos praises US Orthodox schools as model for public education

Education secretary hails Agudath Israel for meeting both ‘academic and religious needs’ of Jewish community


Leaders of Agudath Israel of America meet at the US Department of Education in Washington, DC, with US Education Secretary Betsy DeVos, March 8, 2017.  (Shmuel and Dov Lenchevsky via JTA)

WASHINGTON — Education Secretary Betsy DeVos praised Orthodox Jewish schools as a model for publicly funded education.

“I applaud Agudath Israel for their leadership and commitment to providing their community with access to educational options that meet the academic and religious needs of their families,” she said Wednesday after meeting with leaders of the Haredi Orthodox Agudath Israel of America at the Department of Education in Washington.

“I look forward to continuing to work with Agudath Israel of America, the Orthodox Jewish community and all who believe that every child, regardless of where they live or their family’s income, should have an equal opportunity to a quality education,” she said.

As a philanthropist who backed public funding for private education, DeVos had worked closely for years with Agudah and other Orthodox Jewish groups.

DeVos, a Michigan billionaire whose advocacy for school choice has led to sweeping changes in the educational landscape in her home state, provoked divergent opinions in the Jewish community.

Secular and more liberal Jewish streams oppose programs like vouchers for private schools, in part to protect church-state separation, and because they argue that it diminishes funding and resources for public schools.

March 11, 2017 | 4 Comments » | 43 views

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4 Comments / 4 Comments

  1. No tax dollars for Jewish (private) schools!
    No vouchers.
    No tuition tax credits.

    Government involvement in education has been a CATASTROPHE. Its obvious failures include the toxic and sociopathic (often physically dangerous) “learning” environment, dismal results, misinformation and indoctrination, and trillions of tax dollars wasted, to name just a spectacular few.

    Government money always comes with strings attached. The more that private schools willingly accept (solicit!) tax dollars, the more the government will demand that private schools operate like government skoolz, with all the costly bureaucratic, political, and mal-education nonsense which goes along with it. Private schools, nearly always driven by institutional concerns for their own financial stability, will eagerly comply.

    The end result of government funding for Jewish schools will be the ruin of Jewish private education.

  2. “Secular and more liberal Jewish streams oppose programs like…” for only one reason: the teachers’ unions control the Democrat party and the secular etc support the Democrats. The putative arguments about church-state separation are nonsense and the matter of funding is debunked by the fact that, the more money that is thrown at public schools, the more meager the improvement.Vouchers can certainly be
    structured without the strings usually associated with government.

  3. Most USA public K-12 is funded through local, usually property tax to the municipality. Federal funds may come into supporting disabled students. Access to any public funding, local, state, federal has been an issue. Why should a homeowner pay for public schools with their property tax, and also pay for religious school tuition?

    Fine meeting for Sec DeVos to have, gives Schumer a headache. Twofer.

    This is not cynical: everything publicized by TeamTrump, with photos, is strategic.

    In the FiveTowns, my bet is $30,000 per year in Real Estate Property Tax is normal.

  4. She likes Jews. She praises Jewish institutions. That’s all I need to hear. Awesome. Next.

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