School Vouchers Emerge As Key Issue in Brooklyn Special Election

fidler mailer2 School Vouchers Emerge As Key Issue in Brooklyn Special Election

Lew Fidler's campaign mail highlights his plan for Jewish private schools.

In a special election competition that had been increasingly marred with negative personal attacks between the two candidates, a substantive issue has finally emerged that the candidates are staking their ground on: tuition relief for private school students, especially those attending yeshivas in the heavily Jewish district.

Earlier this morning, the Republican candidate in the race to replace corrupt former State Senator Carl Kruger, David Storobin, sent out a positive press release touting his support for a voucher system granting money to parents of private school students.

“The voucher issue is a big one in this district,” Mr. Storobin said in the statement. “For the orthodox Jewish, it’s particularly important. Private tuition for yeshivas can be as much as $10,000 or more per high school student, and almost as much for children in primary school. To a family with five or six children, that is a tremendous burden.”

Meanwhile Mr. Storobin’s Democratic opponent, Councilman Lew Fidler, is sending out campaign mail highlighting the work he’s done on behalf of yeshivas, further outlining a five point plan to allocate substantial amounts of state funding to the educational institutions.

This evening, Mr. Storobin sent out another press release announcing Mr. Fidler’s mailing as a wholly insufficient plan to provide for private schools. Mr. Storobin’s campaign spokesman told City & State the difference was between Mr. Fidler’s proposal for an indirect tax credit and Mr. Storobin proposal for direct funding.

“After spending more than 10 years in government, my opponent has just now found motivation in this special election to form what he calls a ‘plan to help yeshiva parents,’” Mr. Storobin said in this evening’s statement. “It’s nice that he’s finally making an effort, but he’s being disingenuous. The bottom line is that Mr. Fidler is against school vouchers, period.”

For many observers following the race, including the major blog in the district, Sheepshead Bites, this new discussion is welcome relief from discussion of neo-Nazis.

Voters head to the polls on March 20th.

Comments

  1. Russell Gallo says:

    Since when does Lew Fidler or ANY democrat support school vouchers? Everyone knows the democrats are bought and paid for by the teachers’ unions.

    Did Lew ever bring this up while in the city council? No.

    David Storobin and the Republican Party have been consistent on this issue. Let parents decide where and how their kids will be educated.

  2. guest says:

    Then don’t have 5 or 6 kids. Education money should never go to private religious schools.  
    Can you imagine if these were Haitian immigrants in Crown Heights – would any politicians be bragging about the social services they deliver? 
     

    1. Guest says:

      What on earth are you talking about?  Religious people pay taxes and they should not be discriminated based on their religious beliefs

      1. TryAgainBubba says:

        What discrimination are YOU talking about? Nobody’s taxes, whether they’re Jewish, Christian, Muslim, atheist, or childless, should go to pay for private school. Parents are free to make that choice, and are also free to pay for it from their own pockets. I pay taxes to support a public school that EVERY child is free to attend, and I do so because I have a personal interest in seeing that Other People’s Kids get a good education and grow up to become productive, employed members of society. I do NOT pay taxes to support their indoctrination into any faith, and am furious that any politician would propose to pick my pocket for that purpose.

      2. Bubba says:

        Hitler said the same thing.  He wanted Other People’s Kids to get a “good education” and grow up to be “productive, employed members” of society. 

        If parents “are fre to pay for it”, then it is not free.

  3. Joe Diaz says:

    People who
    support vouchers are selfish.  Plain
    & simple.  I wish they would go
    away.  Because they don’t send their
    children to public schools, they don’t support the higher spending and real
    estate taxes that go along with supporting the public schools.  We need to pay Educators a living wage; not
    minimum wage.  We don’t need people who
    send their kids to private schools calling the shots and hurting the children
    in the public schools.  And yes, when you
    pay teachers less than they’re worth; it is the children who suffer. 

  4. Joe Diaz says:

    People who
    support vouchers are selfish.  Plain
    & simple.  I wish they would go
    away.  Because they don’t send their
    children to public schools, they don’t support the higher spending and real
    estate taxes that go along with supporting the public schools.  We need to pay Educators a living wage; not
    minimum wage.  We don’t need people who
    send their kids to private schools calling the shots and hurting the children
    in the public schools.  And yes, when you
    pay teachers less than they’re worth; it is the children who suffer. 

  5. Joe Diaz says:

    People who
    support vouchers are selfish.  Plain
    & simple.  I wish they would go
    away.  Because they don’t send their
    children to public schools, they don’t support the higher spending and real
    estate taxes that go along with supporting the public schools.  We need to pay Educators a living wage; not
    minimum wage.  We don’t need people who
    send their kids to private schools calling the shots and hurting the children
    in the public schools.  And yes, when you
    pay teachers less than they’re worth; it is the children who suffer. 

    1. Radical Republican Answers says:

      Nonsense!  Lower paid teachers prior to 1963 got better results. Increased pay and benefits for public school teachers have equalled worse results for fifty years.

      Fight for a program that takes money away from the public  schools and  promotes sschool choice. 

      Vouchers are not the answer, but they are part of the answer. Anything that helps break the education establishment monoply will improve education. Break the UFT and NEA and you’ll improve  education.  

  6. School Choice Advocate says:

    Both of these candidates are addressing this issue with what appear to be somewhat similar approaches. However, in the broader context, only one of them stands out.
     
    The issue of public financing for Yeshivas is a small corner of the issues related to  public financing for all religious schools, which is a fairly large chunk of the issues related to  public financing of all non-public schools, which needs to be considered in the context of fairness in the expeditures of state and local taxes on  all public and non-public schools.

    So far, neither of these candidate has honestly addressed how state education money can be made available for any of the non-public schools during  an era when he total public funding for public schools already needs to be cut radically.
    Both of these guys should know that to get any significant  public money into the funding stream of any private schools, including Yeshivas, means taking it out of  somewhere in the total education budget.  What is necessary is a restructuring of  the formulas for the public financing of education with a recognition of the needs of all of the children and giving all parents the maximum freedom to choose what’s best for their children. Such a restructuring  means going to war against most  of  the interests that are fully invested in maintaining the staus quo in the  education establishment; this especially means  the very politically active teachers unions, like the UFT and NYSUT.

    All of that having been said, any real fix to this problem along the lines of Lew Fidler’s go along to get along approach cannot and will not work. Quite simply, on election day you’ll see that Lou Fidler’s team will include big numbers from the UFT and NYSUT. What right-thinking person could believe that Lew Fidler will do anything to oppose those powerful unions if he’s elected?

    David Storobin has addressed the issue of vouchers in terms of a general parental free school choice agenda. On these  points,  Mr. David Storobin is headed in the right direction — and that should earn David Storobin the vote of  anybody interested in supporting Yeshivas, any other private schools, and parental free choice.