Tuition Assistance Guidelines

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  • #684896
    laguy
    Member

    It seems to me that the burden is great but that the schools aren’t doing enough to curb their costs. Why don’t they hire only full time staff? Meaning, if there is a Yeshiva where the Rebbe teaches only in the morning, why not give hime some duties inthe afternoon thereby eliminating some of the staff needed at that time. The same could go for the afternoon teachers, make their positions full time and give them duties in the morning. I’m not suggesting they do maintenance work, rather some sort of administrative duties.

    They already get free tuition, which someone mentioned if was taken away the tuition would go higher, why not make them stay a full work day, I don’t know how about 8 hours? This concept may go a long way to teaching our young people the importance of working rather than seeing the Rebbe or Morah leave at 2:00. The responsibility here is on the institution itself both for practical reasons as well as the “keeper” of donated monies.

    #684897
    squeak
    Participant

    GAW-

    I think you and I both know that a community funded school will never work. How do you define community? What stops anyone who has no kids in school from opting out?

    The 9K figure you quote is way too high. Does a class really need 270K to pay its teachers and administrators? Also, teachers may demand higher salaries, but they can’t command more than a regular job 9-5 12 months a year that gets no tuition breaks either.

    #684898
    squeak
    Participant

    volvie –

    Of course they would not be thrown out to PS. But you are still better off than before because the school has been changed to operate on a fixed budget. It is spending less frivolously. If some of the money it expects does not come through, a debt is owed to the school. The school can no longer be the tzedaka box. The almanah with 10 children should place her tuition burden on the local Rav, just as she would place her need for food and shelter.

    #684899
    gavra_at_work
    Participant

    Squeak:

    Assuming no mortgage (owned or borrowed building), elementry school, one teacher, and no scholarships your numbers could work for a lower tier school (depending on insurance and legal compliance costs). But those who could pay more would want more (smaller classes, air conditioning, heat, projects and trips, gym, etc) which would create adverse selection to the others who can’t pay.

    By community school, I did not mean community FUNDED. I mean similar to my previous idea, that the schools can send their scholarship children to a lower cost school (such as the one you describe), thereby saving in total costs to educate ALL children.

    Besides, all of us are obviously OK enough with the status quo that we are not running our own school.

    #684900
    squeak
    Participant

    Well, the status quo doesn’t affect me that much. But I hear from plenty of people who have young children in school and not enough income. To say they are OK with it because they don’t open their own school is fallacious reasoning – they would have to quit their job and borrow a lot of money just to get a new school off the ground, never mind the fact that they don’t have the slightest bit of expertise or knowledge of how to run the place.

    #684901
    gavra_at_work
    Participant

    squeak: TIC.

    But you do bring up a good point of start up capital, which may be needed (except for my plan, which would use an existing school?) and is not available.

    #684902
    squeak
    Participant

    Totally misunderstood- sorry, your comment makes sense now.

    #684903
    puppydogs
    Member

    Guys,

    Thanks for all your advice, compromised the increase with the yeshiva. Still a lot more than I paid in the past but at least it is doable.

    #684904
    tomim tihye
    Member

    laguy: I’m going to assume you didn’t mean that teachers should work more hours for the same pay (or lack of it). They already work evenings, weekends, and whenever they encounter parents.

    Besides, from your equating the teaching profession with other jobs, it’s obvious that you haven’t a clue as to the energy level teaching requires.

    In addition, public school teachers do not work 8-hour days, AND they have prep time built into their school day whereas our teachers do not.

    (And no, I’m not a classroom teacher.)

    #684905
    gavra_at_work
    Participant

    tomim tihye:

    Do you have a “real” job? Does it pay your full tuition (for multiple children)?

    If you do, I am surprised you compare a teaching job (off fri afternoon & Yom Tov, short commute in most cases, parsonage, tuition discounts, SUMMERS, home for children when they get home from yeshiva even if you have to do some work at home (no need for a nanny), discounts at stores, and much much more!) to a “real” job (and there are exceptions).

    If you don’t, then I will disregard your comment.

    #684906
    smr
    Member

    I just saw this conversation thread, while I didn’t read every comment, I have a few general insights. (I am an administrator in a mossod in the ny/nj area, I also do consulting for mosdos that need some hadrocho with getting their operations streamlined and running more efficiently.)

    1. The average Rebbi in the NY/NJ area is making approx. $60K PLUS at east partial, if not total health care coverage. Some are making more. The days of the Rebbi driving around in a beat-up station wagon with duct tape on the muffler, are OVER. For whatever reason, peer pressure, the good economy the past 8 years, Klei Kodesh have insisted on living on a higher standard than they did 20-30 years ago. Maybe they were used to a certain level when they were in Kollel (from the in-laws) and it’s not worth it to take less, or maybe they saw all of the “working stiff” buying ever-bigger houses, cars, taking vacations, etc… but they have been getting higher salaries.

    2.There are more and more issues in all mosdos. Doesn’t matter if you are NCSY, YU, modern-orthodox, black-hat, chasidish…. There are more issues in the house (Shalom Bayis, siblings at risk, internet accessibilty, cell phone..) and more often than not, those people can’t afford (or the situation is too dysfunctional) the individual attention (at the very least) or the professional help (on the higher side) that many of these kids need. Guess who is paying for it? What should they do? Just say “it’s not my problem?” and pass the kid to the next grade? Yes, SOME mosdos do that, but many do not.

    3. For many of the public, tuition/education, to them, is not important, or a game, to be played. We don’t have a tuition crisis. (Yes, trust me, I know, there are MANY people who can’t afford tuition) HOWEVER, there are many who can and don’t. The economy has just given them additional cover where to hide. What we do have is a “hashkafic crisis”. If those who could, would value the effort and mesiras nefesh put forth by those who work and worry literally 24/7, things would be easier. (Hey, if these parents worried about their own kids 24/7, we would already be heading in the right direction!) One of the first things I do when starting with a new mossod, is to re-examine their tuition collections. I’ve never failed to raise significant money WITHOUT FIGHTS OR THREATS.Looking at the real data, I see many parents who are hiding from the “tuition man”. When presented with the additonal info I’ve discovered, they have always come clean, yes, reluctantly, but when they realize they were discovered…..

    As a side note to this, before getting upset at the tuition person/committee, remember that the last five people they talked to, tried their hardest to put one over on them, so when they got to you, they were already assuming you were just another scammer. Is that fair? absolutely not, but we’re all human. It’s easy for us to judge. Try doing this for a few days, see how fast you become and “anti-semite”.

    #684907
    gavra_at_work
    Participant

    With all the government programs, plus support from the in-laws, I can’t imagine its worthwhile to leave kollel for less than 60K.

    I guess thats why many people remain in kollel in our current society. Not only do they want to learn, they can’t afford to get a job!

    #684908
    tomim tihye
    Member

    GAW: Yes, my husband has a “real” job, and I work part-time to supplement it (and both of us have at least master’s degrees), and, being that our kids’ schools have our credit card number, our tuition is paid promptly each month. Currently, we are paying interest on that tuition.

    The perks that you mentioned are the main attraction of Chinuch.

    We cannot provide our teachers with the pay plus benefits (free GHI for the whole family and pension, 401K), and working conditions (Smartboards and other equipment which make teaching easier, prep periods) that public school teachers receive; short Fridays and Yom Tov off at least partially compensate. (Well, not Yom Tov, public school teachers have vacation days.)

    Public school teachers also have summers off and can be home for children when they get home.

    Short commute- I know many Rebbeim (8, off the top of my head) and teachers who travel over an hour each way and many ba’alei batim who barely commute.

    Tuition discounts- Not helpful (as far as I know) for a Rebbi with daughters or a Morah with sons. Also not helpful for Chassidish Rebbi in Litvish Yeshiva or anyone else whose kids attend schools other than the one in which s/he works.

    “Store discounts and much, much more”- Don’t know about these, but as a therapist, I receive discounts at certain (toy) stores, too.

    Sure, I’d love to see something done about the escalating costs of tuition (another one is starting school soon, B”H!), but NOT at the expense of the teachers!

    #684909
    qa
    Member

    Well said tomim tihye, well said.

    Yasher Koach

    (From a [non-chinuch] working stiff)

    #684910
    ChanieE
    Participant

    I think the real problem is the high cost of living in a frum community, especially the cost of housing. Nobody I know in chinuch is raking it in. (Maybe I just don’t know the right people!) We’re talking about $60,000 as if it’s a lot of money. If that’s what the main breadwinner is bringing in, it’s really not enough.

    An earlier post assumed a monthly mortgage payment of $2500, which is low for a family-sized home in many (NOT fancy) NY/NJ neighborhoods but working with that, we get housing at $30,000 a year, or half of the rebbi’s PRETAX salary. Keep in mind that $60,000 doesn’t go very far around here but it’s higher than the national average(which is probably somewhere around $40,000, depending on which data source you use) so that rebbi is relatively well-off as far as the IRS is concerned.

    Now add in all the other costs of life, such as food, medical, which isn’t free even with fully covered health insurance, transportation, etc. Don’t forget tuition – many families have boys and girls, in elementary and high school, so even if tuition at our hypothetical rebbi’s school is covered completely (big if!) chances are he’s paying for some of his kids.

    Ironically, it’s easier to live on the minimum wage around here than it is to try to make ends meet at $60K. Section 8 pays your rent, SNAP (formerly Food Stamps) covers some of the groceries and Medicaid takes care of healthcare.

    We’re called “middle class” because we get squeezed from both ends. Too rich for the “safety net,” too poor to afford the “necessities” of life.

    #684911
    laguy
    Member

    tomim tihye: that is not exactly what I’m saying. What I propose is that every yeshiva, school and educational institution do the best they can to run their programs with a responsible business model. If Rabbeim and teachers are earning a full days pay, they should put in a full days work. Someone who enters the teaching profession understands (or should understand) that this is not an industry that will earn you bug bucks. In fact if you are a teacher you can expect to have some financial struggle. (These are not my rules, these are the rules within our society, both religious and secular.)

    A person that enters chinuch understands that their work does not end when they leave, they have their busy times as much as an accountant in March and April, but what they gain in return is not materialistic (and it doesn’t hurt that they have the whole summer off).

    What I’m suggesting is that each teacher spend an entire day teaching, thereby allowing the school to cut back some of the other staff they hire part time. Its cheaper to hire fewer full time staff than to hire many part time staff to fill the same functions.

    #684912
    qa
    Member

    Sounds like you’re suggesting that teachers work longer hours for no additional compensation. That is unacceptable, and if someone suggested that for whatever industry you’re in (i.e. computer programmers across the board be put to work another 5 hours a week at their current pay) you’d have close to a revolt and it wouldn’t fly.

    Rebbeim are already paid less than most other professions as it is, while almost singlehandedly ensuring the future of our most precious gift — our children.

    #684913
    gavra_at_work
    Participant

    tomim tihye:

    Don’t get me started on union backed pulic school teachers! At least they deserve Hazard Pay 🙂

    Every job has its perks. The perks for teachers (in general) outway the lost salary, otherwise they would not work there.

    On another (and moe importaint) note: I am worried about you paying interest on your tuition payments. Does your school know this? I would hope that they would allow a payment plan so that Ribbis is not paid (even to the CC company). Perhaps if you would put up some collateral they would feel better about it, but financially, paying recurring costs with a credit card and not paying off every month is a recipe for disaster.

    #684914
    chesedname
    Participant

    the rebbeim get paid enough, is it enough to live on? maybe not but the workers at b&h don’t make enough to live on either!

    the fact is rebbeim, work till 2:00pm, have off for yom tov, summers. they get tuition breaks from ALL schools, presents before yom tov from parents,they usually have a part time job from 2 or 3pm. and they also have summer jobs, all in all they make more than 100k a year!! (still not a lot with the cost of everything, but a lot more they would make anywhere else)

    as far as working longer hours to speak to parents, wake me up when they return a phone call, the only thing they did at night was bar mitzvas, but with takanas, that’s over.

    the real issue with tuition is simple, many parents are in kollel (if their parents support them, maybe support should include tuition? not just a house and car, and leave the tuition for the rest of us)

    many others are rebbeim, unemployed, making low wages or cash, we end up picking up the tab for all the above mentioned ppl, that’s what’s killing the system!

    question if a person can’t afford tuition, do they have a right to have more kids? we might be mechuev to support someone that falls on hard times, but if you know you’re broke, do we have to support the new editions? when does it stop?

    #684915
    squeak
    Participant

    “Rebbeim are already paid less than most other professions”

    I have no idea how much Rebbeim are being paid, but I fully expect that it would be less than other professionals. There is no shortage of candidates, there is no training required (other than sitting and learning for a few years, which so many are doing now anyway), there are no end of perks, AND they are working for non-profit organizations.

    It is not fair to compare that to a doctor/lawyer/accountant/therapist/engineer/architect or any other profession that a) requires standardized training which excludes many people who would otherwise want to join the profession (creating scarcity), b) works a minimum of 40 hours a week, and it is not uncommon to find them working overtime on nights, weekends, legal holidays at no extra pay, c) works for a profit oriented company or firm, whose goal is to motivate employees to maximize profit, d) receives no extras that are not on paper e) is usually forced to work outside the “arbah koislei beis medrash”.

    #684916

    “question if a person can’t afford tuition, do they have a right to have more kids?”

    chesed name: I am deeply perturbed a Frum Torah Jew could mouth such a question! Every one has an absolute unfettered right to have as many children as HKB”H blesses him with. Without interference. Even if he is perpetually unemployed without any current or foreseeable income.

    Period.

    #684917
    gavra_at_work
    Participant

    Trying my best:

    Agreed 100%!

    There are also halachos regarding the community supporting such children, though (you don’t, and have them (the children) collect by doors to make ends meet, while publicly shaming the parents to provide for their children). Not to say that they should be applied, but they do exist.

    #684918

    gavra_at_work: Thank you.

    Obviously those halachas are if the parent is negligent in refusing to secure an income where possible. OTOH if the parent tries his best to obtain an income and is unsuccessful or the income is wholly insufficient, there is no right to shame them.

    #684921
    gavra_at_work
    Participant

    Trying my best:

    Not halachic, but is the current reality. Also who decides how much hishtadlus is required? I hear Wal Mart & Target are hiring.

    #684922

    gavra_at_work: I fully agree. If Wal Mart & Target are the best income a parent can secure, they should not be embarrassed to accept a position there. But just keep in mind, parents working in Wal Mart & Target will not be able to afford anywhere near full tuition.

    #684924
    speaktruth
    Member

    more full time teachers is not cheaper.

    Most teachers who are part time- (1) don’t get paid breaks like full time staff(2) don’t get benefits which is speaker for the employer , (3) have a lot more energy/patience for the kids if they only see them a couple hours a day.

    #684925
    laguy
    Member

    speaktruth: The statement about energy is not a reasonable one. I too run out of energy at the end of my day, right about 5 1/2 to 6 hours into my busy day. Maybe I can leave work then too? Shall I ask my boss for 2 months off so I can refresh? Maybe I should tell him that I had to make a couple of calls last night or I prepared for today so I should have a shorter day. The idea that teachers/rabbeim are the only ones that work at night to “prepare” is ridiculous. I have gotten so tired of hearing how hard it is on them, does anyone else who has a job not work hard to do what is EXPECTED of their jobs? If they’re having such a hard time, they should find another job, maybe for the government, they seem to have it easy.

    In regard to how many teachers it takes to teach a class. Right now it seems we hire one rebbe and one teacher for each grade. The rebber leaves at 2 the english teacher then comes in. Why not have the english teacher come in the morning, teach a class of a different grade, then move to the next class in the afternoon, the same could go for the rebbe. Now you have 2 teachers for 2 grades allowing for a reduction of 2 teachers salary of which you can take a portion of to increase the rebbe’s and teacher’s pay.

    #684926
    SJSinNYC
    Member

    laguy, my high school (Bruriah) did that. We had a mix of limudei kodesh and chol throughout the day.

    The dean of the school also pitched in to teach Calculus (Rabbi Teitz). And it was a great way for us to interact with him.

    #684927

    laguy: Limudei Kodesh needs to be taught in the morning prior to secular studies.

    #684928
    chesedname
    Participant

    mixing up the hebrew and secular studies, would never work, for many reasons, that’s not the solution.

    the solution is 1) cut cost (which i have to believe they do try)

    2) get rid of these expensive buildings, unless you have more money than you need and someone comes to pay for the whole thing.

    3) if you support your son/son-n-law in kollel pay his tuition, if not you can’t afford to support him, let him go work

    #684929
    laguy
    Member

    Trying my best: The word “need” is somewhat debateable. When a school can’t make its payroll they NEED to do something more fiscally responsible. While I understand the reasons for teachin limudei kodesh in the morning, it is not the absolute. I was brought up that way, but now my kids are in a school where some of the grades are different. They start their day davening and have a quick shiur right after. They then go to math, etc. at around 1:30 or so the rebbe or morah comes in and they do limudei kodesh after they have taught their other limudei kodesh classes inthe morning. I frankly don’t see any difference in what my kids are learning. We still have very lively divrei torah on shabbos and beleive it or not on the way home from school, because they just got out of chumash or navi. It CAN work!

    #684930
    squeak
    Participant

    laguy

    Member

    The word “need” is somewhat debateable. When a school can’t make its payroll they NEED to do something more fiscally responsible.

    I like what you are saying. However, you need to realize that what you said is a chiddush gamor to yeshivos. Currently the accepted situation is that when a school can’t make its payroll the director makes phone calls and says Nu Rabboisai! We NEED money!

    If your way of thinking were in place, I agree that it would be very easy to try different cost cutting methods.

    #684931
    tomim tihye
    Member

    Gavra: I appreciate your concern for our Halochik and financial well-being and the advice you suggested. B”H, paying interest on our tuition is not the norm for us; currently, we are, but only due to some major one-time expenses and my being owed $$ from DOE for some work. The situation should be resolved soon, B’ezras Hashem. Thanks again for showing “Yisroel Areivim Zeh LaZeh”.

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