New York's De Blasio Signs Bill Providing $20M in Security at Private, Parochial Schools

The law has drawn criticism due to separation between religion and state; Jewish community supported it as it is going to help protect yeshivas and Jewish schools.

Ultra-Orthodox Jewish girls walking past a school bus in Brooklyn’s Borough Park neighborhood, January 1, 2014.
Nati Shohat/Flash 90/JTA Photo Archive

New York City Mayor Bill de Blasio signed into law a bill providing up to $20 million for security at non-public schools.

The measure that de Blasio signed Tuesday will help “keep our communities safer,” he said, according to several New York media outlets.

Approved overwhelmingly last month by the City Council, the law is expected to benefit New York’s many yeshivas and Jewish day schools, along with other private and parochial schools. It has drawn criticism from the New York Civil Liberties Union, whose leaders have said it violates the Constitution’s separation of church and state.

Councilman David Greenfield, a Brooklyn Democrat whose district includes heavily Jewish neighborhoods, introduced the bill last year.

It provides funding for a security guard at private schools with more than 300 students. Private schools with more than 500 students will receive an additional guard.

The Orthodox Union advocated heavily for the bill.

“Now more than ever, with families increasingly concerned about security, all kids deserve a safe learning environment, and this bill helps provide that,” said Maury Litwack, director of state political affairs for the O.U.