Non-public schools across New York City will soon be a bit safer thanks to a bill that the City Council passed on Monday that will create a program to reimburse the schools for the cost of security guard services.
Until now, non-public schools have been required to pay for security guards out of their own pocket, leaving many schools unable to afford adequate security.
The bill, co-sponsored by Councilman Paul Vallone, Councilman David Greenfield and Councilman Rory I. Lancman, will require the city to reimburse non-public schools for expenses that include the cost of training and wages for security services performed during school hours, including school-related after-school programs and athletic events.
“The issue has always been clear-cut; all children have the right to learn and study in a safe environment. School security guards provide a critical measure and sense of security, and children in non-public schools should not have to go without this protection,” Vallone said. “As a parent, there is no greater love than that for your child, and hand in hand with that is their safety. I applaud my brother for spearheading this bill during his time in the Council as this bill is long overdue and now every parent can take solace in the fact that today we stood to protect all children.”
The number of security guards provided to each non-public school will be based on the number of students attending the school. The bill will also task an administering agency, likely the Department of Education, (DOE) with rulemaking related to reimbursement, and providing reimbursement on a quarterly basis.
“Parents who send their children to private schools also pay their taxes and have every right for their kids to learn in a safe environment,” said Fr. Walter Jenkins, president of Holy Cross High School. “Non-public schools have been an integral force in educating children for even longer than public schools and I thank Council member Vallone for his support of this issue.”
“[Monday], the City Council came together and took an important step forward in keeping all our children safe by passing Intro. 65 to provide trained security guards for nonpublic schools. Every student in our city deserves a safe learning environment,” added Lancman. “Now, all students can focus on their studies, instead of worrying about who is going to walk through door.”