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Orthodox Join Religious School Choice Group

The American Center for School Choice, a national group of advocates for religious private schools, has launched the Commission on Faith-Based Schools.

The 14 commission members include David Zwiebel, executive vice president of the haredi Orthodox Jewish group Agudath Israel of America; Michael Guerra, chair of the National Catholic Educational Association; and Kathy Jamil, director of the Islamic Schools League of America.

In a news release, the center, which was founded in 2008, said the commission’s goal is “to collaborate and inject the importance of full parental choice in education into the national dialogue.”

The new commission held its first meeting on Sept. 20 at the New York offices of Agudath Israel of America.

“It is essential that the right and freedom of parents to choose the best education for their children be recognized and we believe this Commission will make an important contribution toward that goal,” Peter Hanley, the center’s executive director, said in a statement.

The commission said its first two goals are “to expand public understanding and appreciation of the role of faith-based schools … especially in low-income communities” and to “address the need for expanding publicly funded school choice to increase a family’s ability to choose from among a full range of options.”

In the spring, the commission plans to release a report and convene a national conference on its findings.

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