Albany Trip

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Albany Trip

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Founded in 2013 to advocate for equitable government funding in non-public schools, Teach New York State is a vast network of community leaders, parents and lawmakers who work to keep the costs down of sending children to non-public schools.  Since the organization’s founding, government aid for non-public schools has grown by $450 million and currently secures funding for more than 400 schools.

To help promote their work, the non-profit organizes an annual mission on which it sends students from Jewish day schools all around New York  to Albany to advocate for more funding for private schools. The additional funding will be allocated toward technology programs and security. This year, Ramaz sent nine advocates to join together with hundreds of schools such as Magen David, Haftr, and many others.

When the students arrived, they were addressed by Senator Todd Kaminsky and other elected officials. After being brought on a tour of the Capitol Building, the advocates went to lobby Senator Liz Krueger’s chief of staff and present the case for fairer distribution of educational funding.  The group then met with Ramaz alumnus Michael Snow ’09, Director of Jewish Affairs for Governor Andrew M. Cuomo. They sat down on the marbled floor of the Capitol and listened as Mr. Snow explained his role and how he became successful. About this meeting with Mr. Snow, David Gerber ’21, one of the attendees, said that “It was great to know that there is a Jewish presence in our state government.”

After an extremely interesting day at the capitol, the advocates headed to the closing ceremony where they heard from Letitia “Tish” A. James, the newly elected Attorney General of New York. All of Ramaz students in attendance enjoyed more than they could have ever expected as they each really felt as if they were making a difference. Advocate Jacob Schwartz commented “It was really cool to feel like i was actually helping my school and schools all around the state. Hopefully we contributed to informing the government about the unfair distribution of the educational funding.”