The Executive Director of Teach Florida, Mimi Jankovits, requested the increase in security funding for Jewish Day Schools. Representative Randy Fine, a Brevard County Republican has filed the bill (HB 2359) to facilitate the request for the additional funds. The appropriations project request can be found here.
Teach Florida, is an organization that advocates for affordable Jewish education and maximize government funding. Last year they were able to secure $24 million in state funding for scholarships to their schools alone. It has a membership of 17 schools in Dade, Broward, Palm Beach, Orange, Volusia, Duval, Hillsborough, Lee, and Sarasota Counties, representing seventy-seven percent of all Florida Jewish day schools. There are currently no Jewish Day Schools in Brevard County.
“With the increase in security threats to Jewish institutions, this important funding dramatically improves our schools’ capacity to improve the safety of students and staff.”Mimi Baron Jankovits.
Fine advocated first time state funding for private Jewish school security funding of $654,000 in 2017-2018. This year he is seeking an increase to $3,000,000 (up 360%) for the schools that are members of the organization.
“What we look to the state for is to assist us with the secular part of our educational programming – to provide our children with what they would receive had they gone to public school.”Teach Florida’s founder and co-chair, Dr. Allan Jacob
Both Jankovits and Dr. Jacob served on the Governor Desantis Transition Advisory Committee after his election. Dr. Jacob is also the President and Director of Jewish Leadership Coalition, Inc. (JLC), a group that lobby’s for vouchers for private Jewish day schools. Also part of the Jewish Leadership Coalition management team and another Desantis Transition Advisory team member: John Kirtley, billionaire founder of Florida’s Voucher program, Step Up for Students, and Florida Federation for Children.
Step Up for Students voucher program, receives 3% of the gross diverted tax dollars used to fund the program, holding a monopoly on all Florida vouchers. At least a billion dollars for Corporate Tax Credit vouchers has been diverted to primarily religious schools since the program started, there are 4 voucher programs now: Corporate Tax Credit, McKay, Gardner and Hope – all administered by Kirtley’s Scholarship Funding Organization (SFO), Step Up for Students.
“We have school security funding in the budget now but there are bigger and better things ahead. I believe that in this legislature, over the next few years, you will see expanded school choice, but we will need all of your help to get there.”State Representative Randy Fine at Teach Florida’s First Legislative Breakfast December 17, 2017.
According to campaign finance reports Fine has received $11,000 in contributions from Dr. Jacob.
Teach Florida is a member of the Teach Coalition, the driving force nationwide to deliver more government funding to nonpublic schools. More than $1.5 billion in state funding for nonpublic schools has been delivered in the last seven years. Teach Coalition is a project of the Orthodox Union. For more information, contact firstname.lastname@example.org, (954) 406-6336, www.teachcoalition.org/fl.