Jewish advocates push for more security funding for non-public schools after Pittsburgh shooting

David Madden
November 02, 2018 - 8:30 pm
Pittsburgh Shooting

Jeff Swensen/Getty Images


PHILADELPHIA (KYW Newsradio) — Last week’s slaughter inside a synagogue in Pittsburgh has renewed the efforts of those, particularly in the Jewish community, to increase government funding for security in non-public schools, regardless of religious affiliation. 

Pennsylvania has budgeted $50 million for school security, but only a small amount of that goes to non-public schools. 

In New Jersey, the allocation is about $75 per student — less than half of what the public schools get. 

Josh Caplan, executive director of Teach NJ, a branch of the Teach Advocacy Network and the OU Advocacy Center, wants that doubled immediately, and with ultimate parity.

"Our country can't afford to see more tragedies like that," he said, "and part of the fix is to make sure that our institutions where our children are studying and learning to be protected, and we as adults need to make sure that that happens."

His Pennsylvania counterpart, Arielle Frankston-Morris, director of Teach PA in Bala Cynwyd, believes that because the tragedy occurred within the commonwealth, it might bolster their efforts at increased funding.
"We are moving from feeling helpless and scared and in mourning this week to being aggressive and knowing that we need to receive something better," she added. "We need safety for our kids. For everyone. For our houses of worship and for our students at school."        

As to how to make non-public schools safer, both believe that should be left to each institution in consultation with police.