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Orthodox Back Romney School Voucher Plan

The Orthodox Union welcomed a pledge by presidential candidate Mitt Romney to allow low-income families to use federal dollars to send their children to parochial schools.

“Gov. Romney’s proposal to have federal education funds ‘follow the student,’ rather than become mired or diluted in a trickle-down process, is most commendable,” Yehuda Neuberger, the Orthodox umbrella body’s public policy chairman, said in a statement on Wednesday after Romney, the former Massachusetts governor and putative Republican presidential nominee, unveiled his proposal. “It will ensure that scarce federal education dollars more effectively support the educational needs of eligible children.”

Romney was quoted as saying by National Journal in his address to the Latino Coalition’s Annual Economic Summit in Washington D.C., that “too many of our kids are trapped in schools that are failing or simply don’t meet their needs, and for too long, we’ve merely talked about the virtues of school choice without really doing something about it.”

He would allow parents to use federal funds to place their children in private or parochial schools and in schools outside their geographical area.

A number of major Jewish organizations and the Reform movement have in the past strongly opposed extending federal funds to parochial schools.

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