Author Topic: Why is Jewish Day School tuition so high?  (Read 22954 times)

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.
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Offline CS1

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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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Offline ysteichman

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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 »

Offline BigDanFan

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Re: Why is Jewish Day School tuition so high?
« Reply #90 on: May 19, 2014, 10:51:39 PM »
At $5,500 per child for 4 children as the 'scholarship' avg tuition is an excellent base. 20K a year is a lot for annual tuition.

Most schools would do very well if that were the case for every non-full tuition paying child. Too many families claim that they are so poor, they pay under $1 - $2K per child and spend in lots of other areas, drive expensive cars, have iPhones, their kids have iPhones, and then they are bothered by the quality of the teachers.... 
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Offline ayman

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Re: Why is Jewish Day School tuition so high?
« Reply #91 on: May 19, 2014, 11:36:26 PM »
Sorry this took so long. Just a few responses.

@ayman,  besides for chevrons comment, what does this thread have to do with people who are in chinuch? The people paying tuition are regular working people.

Obviously insight from a school administrator would help clarify things,  but otherwise. .. .? 
Point one is true, and I'm not saying that there is something wrong with them speaking from their point of view. But as you say in point two, you would really need to speak with a school administrator (like peacenlove) to find out the true costs for running a school or yeshiva. Just because someone is a hardworking person, with some seichal, does not mean they know what it takes to run a school and what the costs are. To base your calculations solely on what you think a teachers salary ought to be is ridiculous.

Involved, took training.
FTR, the training was not helpful...if you needed to be told what they said, then this job is not for you.
There are definitely people who are naturally more suited for the job and people who are less so. There are people who do not need any training whatsoever and others that you can train for years and they will still not be cut out for it. However, I don't believe that the training is useless for the majority. There are some very useful tips, techniques, theories and ideas that are learned in training. The best teachers IMO are always learning to teach. They do not say that I have been doing this for the past X amount of years so I'm good. There is always room for improvement.

Those are infinitely better than those who were just thrown into a classroom because they couldn't find a better job (even if they underwent 'training'...)
Huh?

Disclaimer: I do not currently pay a tuition. For parents to get together and try to come up with ideas to lower their costs is a great idea. Get together with the school administration and see what can be done. But to make calculations here on DDF based on fictional numbers in areas that you don't really have the whole picture just seems very funny to me...
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Offline notanonymous

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Re: Why is Jewish Day School tuition so high?
« Reply #92 on: May 20, 2014, 12:07:28 AM »

There are definitely people who are naturally more suited for the job and people who are less so. There are people who do not need any training whatsoever and others that you can train for years and they will still not be cut out for it. However, I don't believe that the training is useless for the majority. There are some very useful tips, techniques, theories and ideas that are learned in training. The best teachers IMO are always learning to teach. They do not say that I have been doing this for the past X amount of years so I'm good. There is always room for improvement.
100% Correct

Any mechanech who does not see the need to constantly grow is in the wrong profession.  However, the "training", although in theory is a good idea, IME practically did not help very much.

Offline ayman

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Re: Why is Jewish Day School tuition so high?
« Reply #93 on: May 20, 2014, 12:08:37 AM »
100% Correct

Any mechanech who does not see the need to constantly grow is in the wrong profession.  However, the "training", although in theory is a good idea, IME practically did not help very much.
I guess it depends then on the program doing the training?
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Re: Why is Jewish Day School tuition so high?
« Reply #94 on: May 20, 2014, 11:33:35 AM »
Just want to throw something out to the DDF crowd. Why cant we send our children to Public School? And hire a Rabbi to each 1-2 hours a day after school. 

Offline Achas Veachas

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Re: Why is Jewish Day School tuition so high?
« Reply #95 on: May 20, 2014, 11:35:56 AM »
Just want to throw something out to the DDF crowd. Why cant we send our children to Public School? And hire a Rabbi to each 1-2 hours a day after school.
Not practical everywhere/for everyone. Growing up in Crown Heights for example...

Offline skyguy918

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Re: Why is Jewish Day School tuition so high?
« Reply #96 on: May 20, 2014, 12:01:50 PM »
Just want to throw something out to the DDF crowd. Why cant we send our children to Public School? And hire a Rabbi to each 1-2 hours a day after school.
Sure you can do that. But the products of that system will be vastly different than what we see today.

Offline dovy2

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Re: Why is Jewish Day School tuition so high?
« Reply #97 on: May 20, 2014, 12:44:15 PM »
Here is my idea to help the tuition crisis:
All schools in the neighborhood make an agreement that they will take in any child of any teacher teaching in one of these schools as long as he had more than one child,  for free.
 This way,  all schools (which are part of the above agreement) can pay their teachers much less (lowering overall costs) and everyone is happy.

Offline ckmk47

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Re: Why is Jewish Day School tuition so high?
« Reply #98 on: May 20, 2014, 12:50:06 PM »
Actually, providing free tuition for teachers is unfair compensation.  Not all teachers have the same number of children.  So a teacher with 4 children in the school is getting 2x the bonus of someone with 2 in the school, and 4x the bonus of a childless teach (or one whose children have grown up).
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Re: Why is Jewish Day School tuition so high?
« Reply #99 on: May 20, 2014, 12:53:00 PM »
Actually, providing free tuition for teachers is unfair compensation.  Not all teachers have the same number of children.  So a teacher with 4 children in the school is getting 2x the bonus of someone with 2 in the school, and 4x the bonus of a childless teach (or one whose children have grown up).
and family insurance policies....
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