There isn’t a great deal of bipartisanship in the New York State Legislature. Once in a while, however, lawmakers from both parties working together are able to come up with good ideas.
According to State of Politics, Senate Deputy Majority Leader Mike Gianaris (D-Queens), Senate Minority Leader Rob Ortt (R-North Tonawanda), and other state legislators have proposed to double the amount of grant funding that the state makes available to nonpublic schools for safety purposes. Currently, the state provides $45 million in safety grant funding to nonpublic schools. This funding stream can be used to purchase security cameras and to pay security guards, among other potential uses.
Recently, Jewish and Muslim leaders met in New York City to discuss nonpublic school safety. Sen Gianaris indicated that leaders from both faith communities agreed that “‘what they need from New York right now is help securing their religious schools from harassment and potential attacks.’”
School security upgrades sound like a good investment at a time like this. As State of Politics noted, there has been a disturbing increase in anti-Semitic and anti-Muslim incidents in recent weeks. In Albany, a man was arrested for firing a gun outside Temple Israel in Albany while expressing anti-Semitic sentiments; approximately 75 students were inside the synagogue at the time.
New Yorkers for Constitutional Freedoms supports the proposal to double nonpublic school safety grant funding. Students in Christian schools and other nonpublic schools could all benefit from stronger safety measures in this season of mistrust and division.