By Ron Kampeas
WASHINGTON — Following a coordinated lobbying effort by Orthodox Jewish and Roman Catholic groups, the $900 billion coronavirus stimulus includes $2.75 billion for private schools hit hard by the pandemic.
“As we all know, the COVID-19 pandemic has been terribly disruptive and costly to America’s K-12 schools — the students and families they serve, the teachers and many other staffers who work tirelessly to educate our children,” Nathan Diament, the Orthodox Union’s Washington director, whose group was among the Jewish and Catholic organizations pushing lawmakers for the funds, said Monday in a news release.
“That is why it is essential for this latest federal relief package to include a great amount of support for these schools and, among them, America’s Jewish, Catholic and other nonpublic schools.”
The nonpublic schools will have to apply for the funding.
The backing for the added funding was bipartisan, led in the Senate by senators known for their efforts to reach across the aisle: Susan Collins, a Maine Republican, and Joe Manchin, a West Virginia Democrat.
Republicans and Democrats in the Senate and the U.S. House of Representatives have agreed on the outlines of the stimulus package and are expected to finalize it by Tuesday.