Orthodox school in New Jersey seeks $5 million grant to hire more STEM teachers

A private orthodox school is looking to land the $5 million government grant to hire more STEM teachers into their community.

Private Orthodox schools call for more STEM teachers

A yeshiva in Lakewood, New Jersey, is looking to land a big opportunity with the state’s $5 million education funding allotment for private schools. The community based orthodox school is looking to acquire board-certified STEM teachers to teach at their school.

According to Baruch Hochman, Principal of Toldos Yaakov Yosef yeshiva:

We do have our STEM teachers here, but, they are not certified.

As a result, more than 200 Orthodox students in their school are not getting the same level of advanced STEM learning as compared to other schools with board-certified STEM teachers.

Hochman, along with fellow Lakewood yeshiva representatives, attended an information drive regarding a new state funding program that acquires the services of board-certified public school teachers to teach extra time for STEM classes in private schools.

Public teachers to do extra time in private schools

The gathering also included several Lakewood public school teachers that are willing to be part of the program, both Jewish and non-Jewish volunteers are welcome to participate. The extra pay the teachers that will be doing a part in the private school teaching will be calculated hourly and added on top of their regular pay.

In needy times likee this, Principal Hochman said that he wouldn’t really mind if the teachers assigned to their yeshiva belongs to an Orthodox family or not, as long as he/she has a good background in STEM teaching.

As long as they’re ethical and respects our religion, then religion won’t be a factor for us at all.

The state grant pays for public school teachers to take time and teach in private schools who requested assistance in their STEM programs. Private schools, on the other hand, also have the option to request for public school teachers outside of the state, granting that these teachers submit the necessary requirements to qualify for the program.

The state program was made effective by the 2018 amendment as funding legislation for private schools. The grant program is not widely known in other states as compared to Lakewood, where the majority of the students go to private Orthodox schools. The area is within a large Orthodox community, which explains the six to one ratio of private students to public students.

Despite the fact that several critics questioning the use of public funds on private institutions, the Lakewood Orthodox community who helped create the grant program stands firm that it is a benefit for the public school teachers. Orthodox schools gain from the services of STEM teachers, yet the funds are still going to the pockets of public school teachers.