It took awhile, but it appears the race to replace former State Senator Carl Kruger is finally getting back to issues.
After weeks of negative campaigning surrounding a slew of vanishing blog posts by Republican candidate David Storobin… and Lew Fidler’s statements that it was because his opponent was embarrassed of the content, which was linked by hate sites… and after negative mailings from the Republican State Committee touting Fidler’s “special perks” and position at LawCash… and after press conferences full of heckling… and after Storobin replaced his campaign manager and Fidler chastised his…
Well, after all that, the issue is now school vouchers.
David Storobin issued a press release today vowing to make school vouchers a top priority in the State Senate if elected.
“School vouchers are not only an education issue, they’re an issue that strike at the heart of social and economic fairness,” Storobin claims. “All over New York, there are families on fixed incomes who are scared to send their children to failing public schools. But they don’t have the means to pay private school tuition either. What kind of choice does that leave?”
Storobin says that a state sponsored voucher program would level the playing field for families who want to send their children to private school but can’t afford tuition.
“The voucher issue is a big one in this district,” explains storobin referring to the more than three dozen private secondary schools within his senate district. “For the orthodox Jewish, it’s particularly important. Private tuition for yeshiva 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.”
The press release ends with a challenge to Fidler, saying he has yet to “make known his stance on school vouchers.”
Of course, within the Orthodox Jewish community, where Fidler is targeting most of his advertising funds, he has made his position known.
Fidler sent out a direct mailing to Orthodox portions of the district, saying he too would make increasing state funding for Jewish education institutions a priority. According to Politicker, the mailing put forward the following five-point plan:
1. Tuition Tax Credits to reimburse parents up to $5,000 in tuition per yeshiva student.
2. Provide State funding for security cameras around all yeshivas.
3. Increase funding for after-school Priority 5 vouchers so that all eligible children receive vouchers.
4. Give parents vouchers to choose their own bus transportation–one that works best for their schedule.
5. Force the State to reimburse private schools the $350 million already owed for mandated services — funds that would go directly to yeshivas.
The special election for the 27th State Senate District is March 20. In the meantime, for those of us who are not Orthodox Jews, you can wonder why the candidates are acting as if our votes don’t matter.