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.