Mayor Michael Bloomberg’s proposed education cuts have become a major issue for parents of public schoolchildren. Councilman David Greenfield wants parents of children at private yeshivas to get involved in the voting process to prevent voucher cuts for the kids in orthodox schools too.
Greenfield and local yeshiva leaders launched a campaign to increase the Jewish Orthodox community’s role in the political process. The campaign, “I’m a Yeshiva Parent and I Vote!” is a voter registration drive that focuses on distribution of take-home information packets, bumper stickers, and voter registration cards at yeshivas.
“Over the past few years, we have watched as vital programs including childcare voucher funding have been decimated by budget cuts. The reality is that this can’t continue. The only way that will change is by making our voices heard at the ballot box. Simply put, it is in the community’s best interests to increase local voter registration to increase our role in the political process and make sure our voices are heard by all elected officials. I am excited to work with yeshiva leaders and parents on this important campaign, which will help provide a long-term solution to the political problems that frustrate us year in and year out,” said Greenfield to Vos Iz Neias.
According to Bloomberg’s 2013 budget, 15,368 childcare slots are at risk of being cut, including 8,868 education vouchers that are worth $24.5 million.
“I urge all neighborhood yeshivas and residents to get behind this campaign and to encourage their friends, family and neighbors to register to vote. I am confident that it can have a real and lasting positive impact on our community for years to come. The bottom line is that if we don’t vote, we don’t count,” said Greenfield.
There is a question of private education subsidies versus public education cuts that should be asked as well. Should tax-paying parents of children in parochial schools or yeshivas receive education benefits when public school children are facing major budget cuts year after year?