Author Topic: Why is Jewish Day School tuition so high?  (Read 11167 times)

Offline satturn

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Re: Why is Jewish Day School tuition so high?
« Reply #75 on: May 19, 2014, 04:23:21 AM »
If you tell them their tuition will go down from $12K to $6K per kid and that they can directly help fund a much needed scholarship fund with tax-deductible maiser dollars, I think most would respond generously.

I mean if it's true that just ~5% is paying full anyway and the rest have to grovel for a break, what is there to lose?
I work in the financial aid department of a yeshiva- we have a bunch of wealthy parents who ask for financial aid- because they look at it like a business- "it cant hurt to ask for a reduction." We are put in a situation that to reject someone for a reduction outright creates bad blood. so we end up giving them a small "courtesy reduction." The issue with the article is will those people give a extra charity donation? It is not a majority who are like that- but we have 5+ a year out of 100.       

Offline peacenlove613

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Re: Why is Jewish Day School tuition so high?
« Reply #76 on: May 19, 2014, 08:52:39 AM »

I work in the financial aid department of a yeshiva- we have a bunch of wealthy parents who ask for financial aid- because they look at it like a business- "it cant hurt to ask for a reduction." We are put in a situation that to reject someone for a reduction outright creates bad blood. so we end up giving them a small "courtesy reduction." The issue with the article is will those people give a extra charity donation? It is not a majority who are like that- but we have 5+ a year out of 100.     
Really? You give parent who can afford it a break?

Offline ckmk47

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Re: Why is Jewish Day School tuition so high?
« Reply #77 on: May 19, 2014, 09:14:03 AM »
I'm a parent 'who can afford it'.  Many years ago, when we started at our boys yeshiva, we were shown a long list of fees and obligations as part of registration.  We asked, "What do you really expect us to pay?" We were given a fair price, we agreed, and have been getting minor raises ever since. Were we given a 'break'?  Yes- we're not paying the overblown 'subsidize all the non-payers' price.  Are we more than covering the cost of my children? I think we're at least breaking even.

Offline CS1

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Re: Why is Jewish Day School tuition so high?
« Reply #78 on: May 19, 2014, 09:23:36 AM »
I'm a parent 'who can afford it'.  Many years ago, when we started at our boys yeshiva, we were shown a long list of fees and obligations as part of registration.  We asked, "What do you really expect us to pay?" We were given a fair price, we agreed, and have been getting minor raises ever since. Were we given a 'break'?  Yes- we're not paying the overblown 'subsidize all the non-payers' price.  Are we more than covering the cost of my children? I think we're at least breaking even.
that's an excellent attitude. If all parents could put that much practicality and effort in, then most schools would be more 'even-handed'.

However, as mentioned earlier in the thread in regard to people who may be able to afford 80 - 90% of full tuition are looking for more breaks, then the total incoming dollars are not enough for the school to meet expenses....
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Offline Achas Veachas

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Re: Why is Jewish Day School tuition so high?
« Reply #79 on: May 19, 2014, 09:48:50 AM »
I'm a parent 'who can afford it'.  Many years ago, when we started at our boys yeshiva, we were shown a long list of fees and obligations as part of registration.  We asked, "What do you really expect us to pay?" We were given a fair price, we agreed, and have been getting minor raises ever since. Were we given a 'break'?  Yes- we're not paying the overblown 'subsidize all the non-payers' price.  Are we more than covering the cost of my children? I think we're at least breaking even.
That's basically how I understood it, tuition is overblown, those who 'can't afford' get a discount those who can afford to pay their own kids tuition get a small break (i.e. they pay the 'real' uninflated tuition price) and those of us who are lucky to be able to help out a little more are expected to put in their fair share in helping the school run...
Curiosity made the cat smarter.

Offline CS1

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Re: Why is Jewish Day School tuition so high?
« Reply #80 on: May 19, 2014, 10:10:09 AM »
That's basically how I understood it, tuition is overblown, those who 'can't afford' get a discount ....
if it would end at just 'get a discount', the schools would be in excellent shape.
However, many families tell the schools that can't afford to pay even $1,000 per child and they still have 2 cars, 2+ smartphones, kids' extra-curricular activities, kids' iPads/smartphones, cable TV, own a home, no 2-full time jobs, and yet the teachers are low-salary and no health insurance....

(btw.. I don't add vacations into that mix as some tuition committees do  -- I'm a big believer in taking family vacations. On DDF, we know it can be done with great combination of luxury and affordability. And, it's good chinuch for families to spend quality time together...) 

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Offline flugal

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Re: Why is Jewish Day School tuition so high?
« Reply #81 on: May 19, 2014, 10:54:38 AM »
True.
But it can also be accomplished even for one school.
Lower tuition to a level that 90% can afford, eliminate all scholarships, and get backers to create a fund for those who are truly in need.
The people paying full now would be thrilled to donate large sums of money that's tax-deductible and counts as maiser l'chol hadayos.

Seems like a no-brainer. Why is noone trying it?

The guy who wrote the Op-ed, along with some other people, actually started a new school, now in its 2nd year, that does operate under this financial model. They've set tuition significantly lower than any of the other schools in the area, with no add-on fees and none of the tuition money going to scholarships. So far, the need for scholarships has been much lower than the other local schools because people will stretch to figure things out financially when it's a smaller amount rather than go through the financial aid process.
The financial aid for those few who can't afford it comes from fundraising.

Offline good sam

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Re: Why is Jewish Day School tuition so high?
« Reply #82 on: May 19, 2014, 02:41:31 PM »
The guy who wrote the Op-ed, along with some other people, actually started a new school, now in its 2nd year, that does operate under this financial model. They've set tuition significantly lower than any of the other schools in the area, with no add-on fees and none of the tuition money going to scholarships. So far, the need for scholarships has been much lower than the other local schools because people will stretch to figure things out financially when it's a smaller amount rather than go through the financial aid process.
The financial aid for those few who can't afford it comes from fundraising.
That school also has a radically different education model that is significantly less expensive to implement than the traditional one.  That's the controversial part, but the op-ed is something everyone can wrap their minds around. It's a sad sad reality that the only reason it's not going to happen is because it's impossible to get different schools to cooperate with one another.
If you don't care why would you comment?
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Re: Why is Jewish Day School tuition so high?
« Reply #83 on: May 19, 2014, 03:30:17 PM »
That school also has a radically different education model that is significantly less expensive to implement than the traditional one.  That's the controversial part, but the op-ed is something everyone can wrap their minds around. It's a sad sad reality that the only reason it's not going to happen is because it's impossible to get different schools to cooperate with one another.
some schools in some communities can and do work together. For example I know of places where a group of schools have an understood standard that they charge a tuition rate 18% post taxes for all the children together as the minimum payment. It's a great start.

However, when there are families that do not have any income/earn under $20K on the books, no 'typical' jobs (both parents),
some have nice 'grandparents' that give special gifts, etc... then there is often close to $0 paid in tuition for 2-8 children and the full-time long-term teachers still have low salaries and no health insurance.
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Offline flugal

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Re: Why is Jewish Day School tuition so high?
« Reply #84 on: May 19, 2014, 04:57:28 PM »
That school also has a radically different education model that is significantly less expensive to implement than the traditional one.  That's the controversial part, but the op-ed is something everyone can wrap their minds around. It's a sad sad reality that the only reason it's not going to happen is because it's impossible to get different schools to cooperate with one another.
I don't want to take this off topic, but I disagree on it being radically different.
Either way, my point was only that financially, some of his ideas in the op-ed have worked on a smaller scale, at least for 2 years. And I completely agree with what you said that it's sad the schools can't get together to figure this out. Also sad that the Rabbonim and community leaders in many communities haven't forced the issue more.

Offline elit

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Re: Why is Jewish Day School tuition so high?
« Reply #85 on: May 19, 2014, 05:58:03 PM »
Bc one school has lasted two years, where everyone has signed up for this school specifically because of, or knowing that, the school is working the Tuition this way Is no indication that it can work on a mass scale

Offline flugal

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Re: Why is Jewish Day School tuition so high?
« Reply #86 on: May 19, 2014, 06:20:55 PM »
Bc one school has lasted two years, where everyone has signed up for this school specifically because of, or knowing that, the school is working the Tuition this way Is no indication that it can work on a mass scale
I agree that it's not proof that it will work on a mass scale, but doing nothing clearly has not worked.
I'm not sure what the parents knowing the tuition model has to do with your point though. I would think many of them would be on scholarships in other schools.

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Re: Why is Jewish Day School tuition so high?
« Reply #88 on: May 19, 2014, 10:26:24 PM »
The basic answer is that it is high because there is nothing anyone can do about it. The schools for the most part don't answer to the parents and the rabbonim and organizations are unwilling to get involved. The only one that has is the Agudah but I am underwhelmed by the advice they give, which is to vote for their politicians. That is not the long term answer. There needs to be transparency and accountability. I work in gov't funded education and everything gets picked apart. Shouldn't our hard earned money and tzedakah monies be subject to the same scrutiny?

My (very strong) belief is that the only way to quickly fix the issue is to charge a standard tuition, calculated by dividing annual expenses by the number of students (revolutionary, I know), which everyone must pay. For those who cannot, there should be a community fund they can go to. If the rabbonim stress the importance of donating to this fund, hopefully we can build up stores that can support the needy yeshivas in times of crisis.

Offline ganizzy

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Re: Why is Jewish Day School tuition so high?
« Reply #89 on: May 19, 2014, 10:38:39 PM »
I liveIn California,
I am a parent that is getting a discount.  Instead of paying 11k or so,  I'm paying half.
Maybe I'm wrong but my attitude is that even with the scholarship I am paying plenty,  almost 20k per year total. I don't have to live a life of absolute poverty to pay a little more.
And no,  I don't have luxuries.  Don't pay for summer camp,  extra curricular activities,  expensive Sunday outings,  vacations. ..

A year or two ago,  the school announced that they were lowering tuition and seeing up a separate fund for scholarships. The 11k would go strictly to tuition.
Don't know if it helped,  but this year they wrote a letter that less financial aid would be given out bec of lack of funds.

Everyone complains about the lack of Good teachers, but in my circles the teachers do not make a very good salary,  definitely not enough to set up a decent retirement fund.
So that leaves 2 issues,
1- people are not running into chinuch like they would doctors or lawyers bec the pay is not worth it and it's not seen as a "choshuv" job.  So u don't have a ton of applicants and get to choose the best to be teachers.

2- as they get older and perhaps not as good of a teacher,  the school finds it hard to lay them off bec they have no income and no retirement
« Last Edit: May 19, 2014, 10:42:55 PM by ganizzy »