Tuition: Are We Paying Enough?

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  • #1886730
    1
    Participant

    Let’s be honest. Rabbeim are struggling to get by. Many yeshivas can’t pay the rabbeim on top of the meager salaries they get. The yeshiva has bills that they have to pay. In the winter they have to make sure the heating gets paid and a/c when it starts getting warmer. In modern orthodox schools, the tuition is much higher than the litvish yeshivas; the parents of the kids who go to the modetn orthodix schools, they know it’s an investment that will result in their kids being able to go to a good college, but parents who have kids going to litvishe yeshivas complain about their investment in Torah. Maybe not get the $200,000 bungalow, maybe not go to florida for vacation, maybe not take 2 car leases.

    #1886746
    akuperma
    Participant

    When we find OTD kids becoming frum again so they can give up getting good jobs open only to those who work on Shabbos, and instead want to get rich by working in Torah institutions.

    #1886782
    1
    Participant

    Go on. What’s a regular job?

    #1886794
    opinionated-2
    Participant

    Most parents can’t afford higher tuition.
    Modern Orthodox have more working parents.
    Yes it’s the nisayon of being in learning. No one said you can collect the schar in Olam Habah while also having the cake and eating it.

    #1886811
    commonsaychel
    Participant

    @1, that’s bunk, 75% of yeshiva parents live paycheck to paycheck and a very simple lifestyle.
    We had a forum here two weeks ago about the expenses of the not for profits and the salary of the administrators.
    Let them show the overhead before they raise tuition,

    #1886810
    unommin
    Participant

    Are most teachers underpaid?

    Think about how easy it is to replace an average teacher. A fifth grade rebbi who is so-so. There are yeshivos filled with boys, newly married maybe or with a kid ot two, who could use a few bucks for the family, and earn some personal pride by holding a real job that is Torah-based. Loads of guys in yeshiva, no?

    So if it’s easy to find…

    #1886818
    🍫Syag Lchochma
    Participant

    What’s bunk?

    #1886817
    ☕️coffee addict
    Participant

    1

    Do the parents who do all those things get tuition breaks in your school?

    I know in my children’s school they have to say where they go for the summer, how many cars they have and how much do they pay etc

    #1886816
    Doing my best
    Participant

    Those who can afford to pay more are mostly doing so, through donations.
    The majority of everybody else would have to take out a second mortgage to pay another 2k for 5+ kids for the next 10 years if they are even paying the current 4-5k per kid for elementary school and 8-10k for high school.

    A family of 8 kids, 2 in Mesivta and 6 in elementary school, is be paying 35-45k. Most people can’t even afford that. The numbers sky rocket once the kids start going to E”Y. So raising tuition probably won’t make much of an effect on money actually collected.

    #1886829
    kollelman
    Participant

    It’s time to realize the situation is untenable. 85%+ cannot afford even 4k per child. It’s absurd.

    #1886836
    besalel
    Participant

    Op written by a rebbe who never paid tuition.

    #1886864
    1
    Participant

    Obviously those in kollel need breaks. But there are baal habatim that make $200;000 a year who live high lifestyles

    #1886872
    Sam Klein
    Participant

    Tuition prices today are way tooooooo high and completely unaffordable for Yeshiva families living on just simple lives and not fancy vacations etc…. To afford. Prices were always much lower and more affordable to help them so they can pay full tuition prices.

    #1886870
    CTRebbe
    Participant

    I think the OP is making a very good point that our level of what is considered “normal expenditures” has gone up tremendously from only 20-30 years ago. When looking to cut expenses many many people look at their high tuition bills and want the cuts to come from there before looking at those expectations that have increased in the last few decades. Those paying tuitions in the 26-50 age range ask yourselves if your parent’s generation would

    lease cars (or drive only new model cars)
    take vacations to Florida/EY 1-2 times per year
    eat out 1-2 days per week
    buy food without looking at the price
    take bar mitzvah boys to EY
    provide regular support to married children
    rent summer bungalows at a price comparable to what people pay today
    higher cleaning help as frequently as today
    shop in clothing stores with prices comparable to today
    spend on simchas what people do today
    pay for housing comparable to today
    pay people others for basic maintenance, landscaping etc.
    send girls to seminaries in EY for $25k+
    pay comparable prices for sleepaway camps
    perform mitzvos requiring expensive chumros

    Granted there has been some inflation in the last 30 years just about all of these things are CHOICES and hence luxuries. Some are lifestyles that are easier to change than others based on social pressures. But if our parents did not live these lifestyles why do we feel more entitled than them? So when it comes to cutting down things on this list (and I am sure others can or complain about what goes on the list) why should tuition and yeshivos be the ones to suffer?

    Commonsaychel-the discussion about not for profits most likely had no relation to your kid’s yeshiva.

    Unommin-It is absolutely not true that there is a higher supply of quality Rabbeim than the demand. Quite the opposite. Ask any principal.

    #1886868
    SchnitzelBigot
    Participant

    1 so you’re saying that frum people are in kollel making 20k or they’re Execs making 200k. No one in between?

    #1886881
    cv
    Participant

    1 – Not sure how many people make 200,000/year. Subtract from 200,000 tax and tuition for 8 children and you will see how much money they will have on handes to pay for mortgage/rent, utilities, food, clothes, etc. Do not think they will have money for vocation or for girls seminary in EY. The most people I know make way less then 200,000/year

    #1886959
    anonymous Jew
    Participant

    About 3 years ago there was this debate in the Five Towns area that yeshivas should get taxpayer funding, just like the public schools. The debate ended when it was pointed out that yeshivas would then be required to open their books to the public , and for the first time, give a line by line accounting of their spending. In addition, their budgets would also have to be public and subject to approval by voters in the district.

    #1886953
    commonsaychel
    Participant

    @ CT rebbe:

    lease cars (or drive only new model cars)
    Most drive older models or lease mini van at the cost of buying a use car

    take vacations to Florida/EY 1-2 times per year
    hardly your average person, most are lucky to get away for a week in New Hampshire or Lake George.

    eat out 1-2 days per week
    , most will buy out a pizza pie to give mommy a break

    buy food without looking at the price
    Not the case

    take bar mitzvah boys to EY
    Far and few

    provide regular support to married children
    Agreed, whole other discussion about elite bucherim and entitlement.

    rent summer bungalows at a price comparable to what people pay today
    Most bought years ago.

    higher cleaning help as frequently as today
    most are household where both spouses work and have one or maybe twice a week.

    shop in clothing stores with prices comparable to today
    Most shop online and search or bargains,

    spend on simchas what people do today
    Not since Covid 19

    pay for housing comparable to today
    Wrong, people are move out of the main areas, Dover Twp, Jackson, Garnerville, Pearl River. Linden, etc.

    pay people others for basic maintenance, landscaping etc.
    Most pay landscapers twice a week.

    send girls to seminaries in EY for $25k+
    Not since covid 19

    pay comparable prices for sleepaway camps
    Not since covid.

    perform mitzvos requiring expensive chumros
    Hardly not evenone does it

    How about the Yeshivas opening up the books and showing what all the staff earns?

    Edited

    #1886976
    bk613
    Participant

    “Let’s be honest. Rabbeim are struggling to get by. Many yeshivas can’t pay the rabbeim on top of the meager salaries they get. ”
    I disagree, they get paid fairly for the time they put in. On top of that they get parsonage, any other benefits both through the government and organizations. A Rebbe’s job is roughly from 9am-2/3 pm. Get a second job, no one making 6 figures only works 5-6 hours per day (including recess and lunch break). Tutor at night, (I know guys in their 20’s making $50+ an hour.) Get a summer job as a Rebbe, teach English subjects, become a second seder Rebbe, sell insurance, the possibilities are endless.

    “It’s time to realize the situation is untenable. 85%+ cannot afford even 4k per child. It’s absurd.”
    Do you really think it’s possible to run a school on less that $4000 per child short of massive assistance from the government or wealthy donors who offer to bank role the school every year?

    “But there are baal habatim that make $200;000 a year who live high lifestyles”
    It’s cute that you think people making $200,000 are living “high lifestyles.” These people don’t qualify for any Government or charitable assistance. After Federal, State, and Local income taxes, property tax and full (or close to it) tuition these people are not left with nearly as much as you think.

    #1887037
    The little I know
    Participant

    Firstly, it is remarkable that anyone knows what someone’s financial matzav really is. It was alarming that the administrators negotiating with me for the tuition contract reached conclusions about my income that were so badly off that the misjudgments were extreme. Some asked about family size, most did not care. All inferred that my wage was almost 3 times what it really was. All assumed I took vacations, owned an expensive car and a home in the Catskills, all of which were untrue. All assumed that I was able to access money from my parents and in-laws, also completely baseless.

    Before suggesting I pay more tuition, please have a bit on knowledge of what really goes on in my checkbook. Till then, busy yourself with the yeshiva budget, not false assumptions about mine.

    #1887116
    CTRebbe
    Participant

    Maybe all the poor shnooks who are careful with money and spend within their means are the only ones who hang out in the YWN coffee room. My personal observations of the levels of materialism in the yeshiva world say otherwise. Count the number of pesach hotel programs during a normal year, the number of frum families flying to Florida in January, to EY for sukkos, new construction in Lakewood, Monsey, 5 towns, the price of houses in these areas and Brooklyn, percentage of BY high graduates attending seminary in EY, excessive spending on frivolities in simchos etc. etc.
    Some of these are due to social pressures, desires for luxuries but I think most people would agree that the level of gashmius in America has increased manifold to a point that it is not sustainable. To ask the struggling yeshivos to suffer for that is not right.

    #1887131
    🍫Syag Lchochma
    Participant

    “the level of gashmius in America”

    America? Please don’t throw the rest of us into your septic tank. I hate when people think the whole world lives like you guys do.

    #1887154
    CTRebbe
    Participant

    I think the markets prove the point. People don’t sell houses for $750,000-$1,000,000 unless there are likely buyers. Pesach programs don’t open up unless they have likely customers. Jewish clothing stores do not charge 3-4 times the price as the rest of the market unless they have regular customers, women would not take on jobs as party planners unless there was a demand for it, leasing companies serving the frum community would not be offering as many cars as they do unless they had customers. New seminaries would not be opening every year unless there was a demand for them, fast food joints etc…..

    You can stick your head in the sand but these businesses seemed to have been flourishing and increasing before corona hit.

    #1887188
    commonsaychel
    Participant

    @CTRebbe,
    Lets see, my sister in Real Estate in Monsey and most of the sales are in the 4-600 K range, not that high range, Lakewood is even lower, FYI there are two rebbis on my block who just renovated the houses to the tune of 300 K.
    Most of the people attending the peasch programs were not Heimishe/ Yeshishish / Chasidish.
    The clothing stores were losing ground to the online shop prior to corona,
    Just about everyone employed by a yeshiva is driving a leased car.
    I fargin the yeshiva staff but before they increase the tuition let them open the books for all to see,

    #1887204
    🍫Syag Lchochma
    Participant

    Woah mr Saychel, you seem a bit overly obssessed with opening everyone’s books. I mean feel free to be curious but you seem to be over the top with it. Past trauma? Deep seated competition between you and an old friend? Maybe you should consider working this thru with someone. Scrutinizing everyone’s books personally when it is relevant is one thing. Needing to enforce scrutiny in all frum organizations books thru a public forum…sounds like a middos issue.

    #1887226
    commonsaychel
    Participant

    @Syag, its very simple, people who live in glass houses should not throw stones

    #1887229
    🍫Syag Lchochma
    Participant

    Im not sure how that fits here.

    #1887252
    Sam Klein
    Participant

    If you are an honest organization of a school or shul etc… Then you should have no problem or worries of opening your books to going public. Show your honesty and proudness of your avodas hakodesh for all the amazing work you do Mr. School/shul administrator

    #1887380
    commonsaychel
    Participant

    @syag, you may not like my answer of how it fits in.
    When the person I meet with from the tuition committee in under Federal investigation for his business practices, when the Menhal is living rent and tax free in a house owned by the yeshiva, when his kids drive around in high end SVU leased to yeshiva, that is glass houses.
    How do I know all the this? Close Friend got a Grand Jury subpoena re board member, public records on the house, and son in law was rear ended by the high end SUV

    #1887387
    🍫Syag Lchochma
    Participant

    CS – Point 1. It still doesn’t fit in if you understand the meaning of it.
    Point 2. You are just proving my suspicions, it is personal and it is frustrating as heck. There are jerks and bad apples everywhere. Nobody argues that point. But for you to act like this is standard procedure for these institutions is fake news. I don’t blame you for being so incensed about that, I am the same way. But to obsess over all the institutions, casting suspicion on them all on a public forum excessively is not the answer.

    I have been badly burned by individual in high religious position. It traumatized me to no end. And damaged
    plenty. My response was similar to yours. While it has been about 8 years and I still cannot resolve the issue in my head or heart, I no longer need to carry those trust issues over to everyone in high positions and assume they are all covertly doing the same. We who would never behave that way cannot bear to see such behavior in those we hold in higher esteem. It is a tragic reality out there.

    When you want to donate – check the place out. When paying tuition, ask good questions. When faced with a campaign for a school, do your research. But there is no need to act like every school is like the one you mention. And don’t forget that their behaviors are being duly recorded by Hashem.

    #1887390
    CTRebbe
    Participant

    Syag- Good points. I would also add that we are talking about the institution where you are entrusting YOUR children to grow and develop. If you feel that a yeshiva is so corrupt from the inside out you are making a really big mistake in sending your child to that school. If you live in an area with only one school that provides such horrible chinuch I would seriously consider moving. If someone feels the menhal is a ganav, why would think he is properly leading his teachers to teach right from wrong?

    #1887391
    CTRebbe
    Participant

    There is also a big difference between salaries and expenses in a school vs. a chesed institution. Most schools have a board who do oversee the budget. Parents are customers and are constantly demanding a good product.
    Chesed institutions can pay their administrators what they want with little oversight from the public. If they have a good marketing system and fundraising machine they could put little into programs and a lot into salaries. It is much harder to do that in a school. The big question for chesed institutions is on the donors who pump tons of money into projects which hang heavily on tugging at heartstrings

    #1887409
    commonsaychel
    Participant

    @CT Rebbe, not for profits all have boards and are required to under law and so do the yeshivas. the board members are often family or friend and little have true oversight.
    The output is from the rank and file and and if the Rebbe is devoted I show my appreciation directly on Chanukah, Purim and Yom Tovim.
    PS as I said in the prior post the two nicest houses on my block are owned by two rabbim, one put up an additions costing 250K other 350 K, I totally fargin them and wish everybody could afford it

    #1887420
    The little I know
    Participant

    Syag:

    You wrote: “But for you to act like this is standard procedure for these institutions is fake news.”

    You suggest that the institutions that have books that need to be hidden is the exception. I challenge that. No, I do not have inside information. But we observed the past few years with much discussion about the Markey bill which would open yeshivos to lawsuits about alleged abuse, with the knee jerk reaction that all of our yeshivos would be implicated and either forced into bankruptcy or closed. Really? Are they all guilty? Well, maybe not all, but a noticeable majority maybe. Seems the matzav of free of aveiroh is not universal or even close to that.

    As for airing this publicly, I commend you for not using the “chilul Hashem” line. It denigrates the concept to refer to publicity only. My Pirkei Avos says: כל המחלל שם שמים בסתר נפרעים ממנו בגלוי. So chilul Hashem refers to behavior inconsistent with the value system, and whether in secret or not remains as chilul Hashem.

    Lastly, “check the place out” and “ask good questions” sounds nice, but it is actually comical. The thief that gets caught is the one that tells others about the heist. No menahel or administrator will disclose the shady stuff going on. It is undercover, so checking won’t find it. And those protecting the operation will never admit to it until arrested and facing a judge (and then, maybe).

    #1887434
    🍫Syag Lchochma
    Participant

    If you totally fargin them you wouldn’t need to leep mentioning it.

    #1887515
    commonsaychel
    Participant

    @syag, I fargin all my neighbors, if he works at B and H, a Rebbi, grocery or a plumber, I mention it to show I have zero resentment to people in chinuch, my resentment comes from people who say we should pay more when they have a pretty cushy life for the most part.
    edited

    #1887513
    charliehall
    Participant

    “yeshivas would then be required to open their books to the public , and for the first time, give a line by line accounting of their spending.”

    I don’t see the problem with that.

    ” In addition, their budgets would also have to be public and subject to approval by voters in the district”

    Of course! Massive tax increases would be required, and in most of NY State that requires a referendum. (The largest cities are exceptions.) And the school boards are also elected by voters (New York City and Yonkers are exceptions.)

    Now that the Supreme Court has overturned most of the Blaine Amendments (a few are still in effect, such as in Virginia), we CAN get tuition relief from the government. But we need to vote for politicians who will support the large tax increases required. That usually does not mean Republicans.

    #1887512
    n0mesorah
    Participant

    Our society thrives on fundraising. That is what maintains our lifestyle and builds our communities. The elementary schools and the girls high schools are left behind. They are left to be maintained by their parent body. This makes no sense. Organizations that serve the ill, are not supported only by the patients’ families. Same for every type of chessed. When it comes to education, the major yeshivos get some communal support, and the small ones get a drop. Nobody ever approached me to contribute to the communities schools. But I was asked to give to hachnassas kallah, bikur cholim, tomchei shabbos, hatzoalah, pidyon shevuyim, kiruv, shuls, et cetera. Well, if I make money in a community I should give some back. Sure. But should the schools not be first? I was even approached to give to the mikva and an organization that helps with infertility?!? I even went looking for a communal pot that would be distributed among the local schools. There was none. And I think I know why.

    #1887483
    charliehall
    Participant

    Just look at the upset when Cuomo cancelled sleepaway camps, most of which are multi-week. How many European Gedolim went to multi-week sleepaway camp? Sleepaway camp is NOT essential to Judaism; it isn’t even mentioned in the Torah or in Chazal!

    #1887522
    🍫Syag Lchochma
    Participant

    “even went looking for a communal pot that would be distributed among the local schools. There was none. ”

    We do in Chicago

    #1887525
    commonsaychel
    Participant

    @n0m, after you start paying high tuition feel free to join the discussion.

    #1887526
    anonymous Jew
    Participant

    CH, Arizona pays for private school tuition without a huge tax raise. Dollars dno not equate to quality education. NYC spends the highest per student than any other district but gets substandard results.

    #1887676
    opinionated-2
    Participant

    Spending $2000 on clothing every Pesach and Sukkos in order to keep up with the styles.
    Eating out for lunch every monday wednesday and friday
    Buying a house when you have 1.5 kids.
    In order to get a good shidduch you need to pay through the roof support.
    Forget about marrying off a child (lchaim, vort in a hall, not even mentioning the wedding expenses, sheva brachos, new clothes for the kallah, ring, bracelet, watch, cufflinks, honeymoon to Eretz Yisrael)

    In addition to common’s list.

    All not necessary.

    Why do we need to be so steeped in gashmiyus, guys.

    If anyone read Toras Avigdor this week, Rabbi Miller mentions that the yidden in the dor hamidbar were given a bracha that they did not have material items/geshmak food/new clothing. Hence the less you have the happier you are.

    I personally stopped buying new clothes for every season, and I’m very happy with my 3-year-old terribly out of style outfits.
    It’s very free-ing when you don’t have to constantly be worried about the Joneses.
    If anyone doesn’t want to do a shidduch with me because of that, too bad.

    #1887722
    n0mesorah
    Participant

    Dear Common,
    Well, I need some help with this directive. I see myself as never paying high tuition. If I think the education is worth it, than it is priceless to me. And if I do not, I would not go/send there.

    #1887809
    commonsaychel
    Participant

    @n0m, First get married, then have a child, then register your child, then worry about tuition, meaning that this topic is not negiyah to you for at least five years.

    #1887837
    charliehall
    Participant

    Arizona actually does not pay tuition for private schools with the exception of a small program targeted towards special education students that includes about 8,200 students out of about 60,000 private school students; what it really has in the way of a broad program is is tax credits for contributions to private schools. New York has over 9x the private school enrollment of AZ — well over half a million students — with less than 3x the population. Arizona also has low property taxes and the programs are funded with state funds, not local.

    #1887854
    charliehall
    Participant

    “NYC spends the highest per student than any other district”

    Not even close to the highest. #1 by far is Kiryas Joel. The other top ones are either suburban districts or small rural upstate districts.

    #1887987
    anonymous Jew
    Participant

    Charlie Using 2017 data, NYC spent $25,199 which was twice the national average . Kiryas yoel’s numbers are are misleading. It’s public school budget includes $8 million to provide busing for yeshiva but there are only about 140 public school kids ( many of whom have disabilities and require significant support) to spread the cost over

    #1888001
    anonymous Jew
    Participant

    CH, you can’t use KJ as an example. They created their school district as a legitimate means to provide funding for the treatment of kids with learning and physical disabilities. The district also pays $8 million for busing for yeshiva kids.
    Since there are only about 140 kids in the KJ public school over whom to spread the cost, it creates an artificialloo y high per student cost

    #1888108
    huju
    Participant

    For the 10th time, I will give you the answer to the tuition problem: Send the kids to public school for secular subjects for half a day, teach the religious subjects in yeshivas. Regrettably, this will put a lot of rabbis and religious teachers out of work, but it will solve a crushing problem for many frum Jews.

    This will take a lot of politicking to accomplish, and many frum politicians have a stake in the continuation of the religious schools. It is, nevertheless, essential for the relief of many frum families. edited

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