Categorized | Education, General

Felder: “we will not be quiet anymore.”

Posted on 30 March 2014 by moshe emes

By: Sandy Eller

Simcha Felder

Simcha Felder

New York – Two days after the New York State budget was finally hammered out in Albany, Senator Simcha Felder had strong words for those who put the kibosh on the Education Initiative Tax Credit bill, which would have provided financial relief through tax credits to both public and non-public school parents.

“We parents are suffering so much,” Felder told VIN News. “They literally took the non public school parents and said ‘Drop dead.  We don’t care about you at all.’”

Advocates throughout the state have pointed the finger of blame squarely at Governor Andrew Cuomo and at Speaker Sheldon Silver for killing the measure, known as the Golden-Felder Bill,  during Friday’s budget negotiations.

As previously reported on VIN News, the bill, which was the brainchild of the New York State Catholic School Conference, would have created foundations that would have benefited all schoolchildren in the state, no matter what type of school they attended.

Felder’s blistering attacked included those who touted the 2014 budget as a boon to yeshiva parents.

“Do not believe any individual or organization that tries to convince you that we did well on this budget,” said Felder.  “That is a lie.  At the end of the day, we deserve the respect and consideration to be able get both tuition scholarships and programs that we need.  We should not accept any crumbs that Albany offers to pacify us.  Albany should be beholden to its tuition paying parents, not the unions and political power brokers.”

The new budget did contain at least one bright spot for Felder:  the passage of his transportation bill which would provide permanent funding for private school students to receive the same bussing benefits as their public school counterparts, with the maximum distance for bus stops reduced from 1400 to 600 feet.

“That means that no one should have a bus stop that is further away than their own corner,” said Felder.  “For the coming school year, every parent in New York City whose child would be eligible for transportation in public schools will be eligible to have their children bussed to school at no cost.”

Despite his extreme disappointment, Felder acknowledged one bright spot in the fight to pass the Education Incentive Tax Credit bill.

“The greatest accomplishment in my mind was the act of participation of thousands and thousands of parents by calling and emailing the speaker and the governor in order to get the help they deserve in these dire economic times.”

Felder vowed to continue fighting to provide financial relief for private school parents.

“We are tired of letting them throw us some crumbs and expecting us to be satisfied,” warned Felder.  “We get this game and we will not be quiet anymore.”

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