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Friday, 19 Tishri, 5780
  |  October 18, 2019

Is Your Kid’s Education a Priority?

From the COLlive Inbox: We hear a lot about the "tuition crisis," but I wonder if we as the parent body are doing everything we can to ensure the school has the money they need. Full Story

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resident
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resident

MIDDLE CLASS MIDDLE CLASS . you dont take into account our situation. WE GET ZERO BENEFITS and i\our college education is costing us hefty loans. for the few thousand dollars we work on the books we are stretched a hundred ways.

Totally agree!
Guest
Totally agree!

How many parents are reading this and complaining of lack of funds for tuition while in their bungalows upstate?

Please read this
Guest
Please read this

My Crown Heights apartment costs me 2300 for a third floor walk up apartment. ( must i mention it was a ”bargain”) YOU ASK HOW MUCH CAN WE PUSH OUR SELVES?? do you know how hard it is for my wife to carry a double stroller up with no elevator? BUT the same apartment with an elevator cost way more. You get my drift…. WE NEED MORE OUTSIDE FUNDRAISING. THERE IS ONLY SO MUCH SQUEEZED PEOPLE CAN PAY!

resident
Guest
resident

middle class people dont go away for pesach and neither do we bring puppet shows or pettting zoos to our sons upsherinish !!!!! As it is we already live on a tight budget. I SPEAK FOR MYSELF. A shaitel for the wife?? IS NOT every five years. …………..MIDDLE CLASS

@resident
Guest
@resident

I understand we are stretched 100 ways but the question is which is priority #1? Are you ready to eat pasta and sandwiches all week so your kids can have an education or do you need chicken, meat and fish? Are you ready to forgo anniversary outing with your wife to a restaurant and just take a walk to Starbucks? We’re all streched but whats important to us?

He is not talking about luxuries
Guest
He is not talking about luxuries

this is not about luxury pesach vacations or fancy birthday parties, to comment number 4.
this is about luxuries that everyone seems to think are necessities.
Luxury cars, vacations, eating out quite often (as can be seen by the packed many restaurants in crown heights alone, let alone in boro park, flatbush and manhattan, beautiful clothes, sheitels, the list goes on.
we have become accustomed to the highest lifestyle as “necessary” … but ironically not when it comes to our children’s schools.

@comment 3
Guest
@comment 3

I agree we all push ourselves and I’m not trying to make a din v’cheshbon on your accounts. My point was to those people who still do have some space to push ourselves even if just an extra $500-1000 a year. And as stated this is not a replacement for fundraising

I hear you
Guest
I hear you

While cutting back on luxury make sense. But why should people have to scrimp on every part of life because of tuition? A women needs a new shaitel every 5/6 years. Should walk around like a shmate because of tuition. Couples every so often need a night out or vacation to connect and spend a quiet few hours. Women need some cleaning help for sanity And a roof over a head is important and it should not be considered a luxury if a couple decided to buy one Even if living on a tight budget- hard working families should not… Read more »

Dear number five
Guest
Dear number five

Can I tell you how I do food shopping as a middle class person? Everything is off brands . Even just to save a few dollars on mouthwash and we don’t eat out because in our head we are thinking how many hours do I need to work to pay for that . It’s very hard as middle class . But based on our tax return we are ” rich” it’s a much bigger problem . It’s also thanks to our government. The best joke is when relatives ask if you can ask your boss to pay you half cash… Read more »

Thabk you number 8 -
Guest
Thabk you number 8 -

The only answer is to fundraise fundraise fundraise !!!!!! Yes I’m not saying the people who go to Kmr a luxury pesach program shouldn’t pay tuition! I’m talking about the middle and poor . Our ” luxury” is eating a breakfast at Kingston bake shop . We need to fundraise !!!! How many times late at night rabbi Feldman from oholei torah came collecting pushkes??? All those dollars add up and I always give because of his honesty and hard work to come out in bitter cold

Priorities are straight...it's still tough.
Guest
Priorities are straight...it's still tough.

Just adding to the chorus: We work on the books and after taxes make JUST enough to cover our mortgage (for a modest home), one car payment, HEALTH INSURANCE, utilities, basic food (no meat during the week), etc. We are middle class and therefore do not qualify for any state aid in the form of reduced insurance, free tuition for head start, food assistance, etc. We DO NOT have cleaning help and use a babysitter only a few times a year to save money. Whatever money is left goes to tuition and a measly savings/emergency/retirement fund. We are making ends… Read more »

Don't close Schools Down
Guest
Don't close Schools Down

Closing our schools down for three months cost parents a lot of money. The summer, cost. Buying new clothing for summer and then again for the new school year (and let’s not forget new school supplies. Whats wrong with what we had last year? Nothing, this is a new school year, new things.
New tuition contracts, means the tuition is going up (G-d knows why).

@comment 10
Guest
@comment 10

I give my tzedekah to people don’t have food period. No pasta no bread no milk. When somebody chooses to eat breakfast in the bagel shop instead of at home you took away $10 tzedekah money from somebody who actually is broke and in debt and living bchessed uberachamim

Salaries don't go up!
Guest
Salaries don't go up!

Housing in Crown Heights has sk rocketed!Tuition in Crown Heights keeps rising(but it is still less than for out of town). Clothing, groceries etc. keeps rising. How shall we pay for everything if we don’t get pay inceases? As the children grow older, they need more and more. You are not saving so much by not serving pizza for supper. You will have to make supper, which costs money too. Going to the bungalow is expensive, but daycamp for five children is even more. Then you have to pay for activities for Friday and Sunday. Couples have to do some… Read more »

Tuition
Guest
Tuition

I don’t have enough money for rent and food. How can I pay more tuition?

Good point
Guest
Good point

The article makes a good point. However it really should be aimed at those with bungalows, flying in vacations, etc, vs a struggling family whose children deserve a slice of pizza and whose marriage deserves a tester in their anniversary

Even if we do all those things...
Guest
Even if we do all those things...

Even if I live a cheap life, I will never get ahead so why give up on the little things that won’t even make a difference in the end

years ago
Guest
years ago

there was no tuition crisis because the schools/yeshivos had fundraisers who were paid (as per the Rebbes instructions) 49% commision. The fundraisers gained, the schools gained. a win-win situation.

Out of towner
Guest
Out of towner

You people act like ch is the only place in the world with high rent! Constant complaining and excuses. This is your community and your children’s education, if it’s not worth the effort then don’t complain of a yearly strike, or school closure. LA, Miami any metropolitan city is just as high and just as hard to live in. Count your blessings that tuition and kosher is so cheap. And yes you aren’t the only frum families with large amount of kids and debts. This is a universal problem, yet somehow manageable everywhere else. If it’s worth the sacrifice, than… Read more »

Berel
Guest
Berel

Just stop with the stupid solutions already. The problem is that never in history as a significantly large community with large families afforded to fund as individuals cradle to marriage education for each and every single child. It has always been either or: either universal education is funded by the wealthy or there is no universal education. The solution is not to make more money. Making more money has never been a function of will power, so while that may work for some individuals, if they plan for it early enough, and things go right for them, it will never… Read more »

Agree with 8
Guest
Agree with 8

I totally agree with number 8. We shouldn’t be living like paupers just because tuition is crazy expensive. Maybe we should also forego luxuries like food and clothing also to pay tuition. No. The problem is with the schools, schools don’t need 15k from each kid to run the school. Let’s do the math, 15,000 from at least 100 kids, thats at a six digit figure 1.5 million! And thats for sure not going to the teachers, the problem is with the school systems which I’m sure the Rebbe wouldn’t be proud of. Families give their last cent to rent… Read more »

I know people
Guest
I know people

Who pay more to the goyta cleaning lady than to schoolsfor tuition

Why Would They
Guest
Why Would They

Honestly speaking, why would an out of towner with money give to a CH school? Why wouldn’t he give those dollars to his local school that needs help?

Everyone likes to talk about fundraisers, but who would you be fundraising from? Out of towners don’t magically become rich when they leave, they also struggle to get by, they’ve just decided to stop committing all out financial suicide by leaving one of the most expensive cities in the world.

That's how the administrators talk
Guest
That's how the administrators talk

This article sounds like one of those school adminstrators living the high life making such ridiculous expectations on the parent body.

I think it should be the other way around. Let the administrators cut thise corners on their own salary before they make such suggestions.

Pay for what you get
Guest
Pay for what you get

We don’t get much for our money, tired of paying full fee’s to meet the schools budget, but not getting much in return. I am am paying for my children’s education.
There is no transparency, don’t know where the money goes, Poor pay for teachers does not make for the best teachers.

# 18
Guest
# 18

Where in earth do you know that fundraisers were paid 49% ” as per the Rebbe’s instructions”!?!
Fundraisers aren’t allowed to get more than half of tzedakka money and therefore many demand 49%… to whose pocket do you want your hard earned money that you’re giving to tzedakka to go to?

Contrarian opinion
Guest
Contrarian opinion

If u want your kids to be religious and love Torah. It might be worthwhile to think about other options of schooling. Kids from miserable homes that can’t afford to make a nice shabbos and cut back on everything for tuition makes for a very difficult attempt at imbuing their kids with a love of the Torah life. I am not saying to therefore take tzdekah, but maybe send a kid to college instead of seminary or keep them in online or public school until an age where they must be in a Jewish school. Just a thought, I’m curious… Read more »

Honda is not a luxury
Guest
Honda is not a luxury

OK, my husband and I before buying our car literally tried every minivan out there and guess what although Chrysler and Dodge cost less they also don’t have enough space. Toyota and Honda are the only Mini-vans with latch hook options on all 6 seats, which means a typical frum person can actually use the car. Not only do they have latch hook, but they are the only one that can fit 5, read it 5 full size carseats. So before telling someone what to drive remember each family is different in how quickly their family grows, and how much… Read more »

Time to look in the mirror
Guest
Time to look in the mirror

Not everyone can afford a Jewish education and private school education is not cheap. Agree with the above commentator that maybe online public school would be beneficial and hire an outside tutor to supplement the rest, This is not a ch problem, in my area there’s many families who realize that living with the anxiety of sending a large family to private school it’s not in the cards, it’s unfortunate but realistic. So they either home school and hire a rabbi to tutor there children the Judaic subjects. Not everyone is cut out for this but it does help alleviate… Read more »

Fantasy
Guest
Fantasy

Whoever wrote this article is living in fantasy world if he or she thinks that “most” of us are middle class. Most of us are actually struggling to put food on the table literally and how to buy Shabbos every week is more of a nightmare then a pleasure. The author is nothing short of clueless!

Tuition is a waste of Money
Guest
Tuition is a waste of Money

Ask yourself a simple question:

What are you getting for the money you are spending?

Do your children love school?
Are they loving Yiddishkeit?
Chasidishkeit?
Are they able to learn A Pasuk Chumash with Rashi?
A piece of Gemara?

Seriously, ask yourself what you are getting for the money.

School administration
Guest
School administration

Education for our children is a necessity and therefore cannot be run as an external business. Since I do not believe we will ever get completely transparency with the current people who are in charge we, the parents, need to assert control over the schools. We are the main source of funding and have a lot of leverage if we would only be united. As far as transparency goes the school budget and family tuition amounts should be of public record. Let anyone who lives luxuriously and is cheap on tuition be publicly shamed. Of course if we were united… Read more »

To @resident
Guest
To @resident

Sounds like you are about to create obesity and other health issues with your fix. People need to have a well balanced diet. This is not a luxury

How about starting with
Guest
How about starting with

the huge amount of money spent on school supplies – many of which are not used! Six children in elementary school, two in high school….and the bill for school supplies – even when running from Target to dollar store to staples, etc. – is hundreds of dollars! Each teacher sends out a list of things to buy as if this were the only child in the family to buy for – and then two months into the school year notbooks are still empty, or fractionally used, folders could have been combined….ask any mother – it’s crazy! Imagine the thousands of… Read more »

Hopeless Cause
Guest
Hopeless Cause

Middle Class today is not what it meant years ago. We are not middle class. Most families are struggling on a day to day basis. The families who live on gov’t help are doing better than the so called middle class in many ways. A major problem in the Shchuna is the lack of any real leadership. Nothing is being done to help hard working families with tuition, housing etc. Schools hire fund raisers. Why aren’t they doing their job? Perhaps parents can get involved more in the schools but there’s a limit to how much they can help. People… Read more »

Lobby your government.
Guest
Lobby your government.

So funny that nobody mentioned school vouchers. Federal government has $11000 on average allocated for every child. Then there is state and local funds. NYC community is large enough to make a difference. Join with Catholics, charters or whatever. Lobby lobby lobby. Presedent we have in right now is willing, so we have an opportunity. It is easy to pick up the phone and call.

Np!
Guest
Np!

Np! With all this mercilessness from all sides… we’ll accumulate debt beyond belief, and we’ll just pass it along to the next generation… who will be paying to live in crown heights
5,000 for a 1 bedroom
12,000 tuition per kid
… i don’t even want to imagine…

AMAZING!!
Guest
AMAZING!!

Amazing article!! I am totally with you on that one. Thank you so much for finding the courage to write this!! I see so many people who bargain with hanhola on tuition and allow themselves lavish vacations, expensive cars, etc. I know first hands how schools strugle to make their ends meet. Teachers underpaid and almost never paid on time!! This is first-hand hits our children by the lack of enthusiasm on teachers for constantly being paid less and not on time. But those parents constantly demand the best for their child!! But, HELLO!! Ask yourself first before you open… Read more »

Totally out of touch with the common person
Guest
Totally out of touch with the common person

It looks like you are projecting what you do and how you spend your money. No I DONT buy a coffee and Danish each morning Pizza once a week ? NO I DONT Florida. No I DONT Lavish vacations ??? What vacations I work 2 jobs and my wife works too I pay a full salary in tuition And they just keep on raising my tuition 20% each year A school is not a business Its a mosed chinch No wonder why the average kids per family is going down You obviously don’t know what it means to really struggle… Read more »

Yeshiva model
Guest
Yeshiva model

The only way a yeshiva model can work long term is with a director who sees his/her responsibility to raise funds. Tuition should not be expected to cover school operations. Parents of large families can generally not realistically pay more than 2k per child. A director’s challenge is greater today because there are more schools, so donors might be getting hit on by many schools. But there are also many potential donors. More effort by directors for creative and aggressive fundraising is the solution to the financial aspect.

Why bring up fast food and vacations?
Guest
Why bring up fast food and vacations?

Realistically speaking, the less you owe the more they may try to squeeze you for tuition because anyway you don’t have many expenses, right? This article is calling for good Jews to squeeze themselves into a miserable existence. No take out food? It’s cute but who’s got the time and energy to make all those meals? Yes you can live as a tzadik but I believe it won’t work for most. The only real solution is Moshiach. If not for that reality there would be no point or reason to keep going. Yechi Hamelech! And Moshiach now!

After reading all the comments I came to this conclusion
Guest
After reading all the comments I came to this conclusion

We have to send our kids to public school’ all at once all together rich and poor all united. Our property taxes go towards schools and we are not recieving those services. We have no choice at this point, we have to make our stand let’s owherewelm the local schools forcing them to issue us vouchers. We must join with all the frums in the NYC area to immediately initiate this strategy. There is nothing else that can work. No we are not putting down our burgers or leasing low quality less safe vehicles, we are not giving up our… Read more »

Well said #42!
Guest
Well said #42!

This whole Op-Ed is fantasy land. It smells like an administrator writing it. Open the books and donors will be more willing to give. Open the books so that parents “know” where their money goes. Teachers, principals salaries should be the highest number on the Profit and loss statement. Special scrutiny should be given to “administrative staff”- not saying a good administrator shouldn’t be paid for his hard work (that is if he works). Those who pay exorbitant property tax should be entitled to enjoy from their contributions to the school system. This has got to be fixed. Crash the… Read more »

Grateful we left
Guest
Grateful we left

#9. You get it. I have lived in 2 other states. Before and after NY.
Tuition was higher and yes we struggled but kids education a priority. I went to work, my husband changed jobs to make more money. We had no choice. Living expenses are high anywhere religious Jews live but there was no entitlement. Some schools are run fiscally responsible and pay their staff on time. Ask how they do it

To #42 and to everyone else.
Guest
To #42 and to everyone else.

To #42; You want it all on your terms? So go out and get it. If you don’t, won’t or can’t, what do you expect everyone else to do? Do you think we all got everything on our terms? But you and your family are special, is that it? To everyone else, You want more government benefits, more help from government so what do you think they do? They provide it (at least to some extent) then they raise taxes. Some of the taxes they raise are income taxes and property taxes. When income taxes goes up, those earning the… Read more »

Anon.
Guest
Anon.

Oh do me a favor! Jewish schools are very expensive! And even the ones that give a discount it’s still too much. For the average family to pay $500 minimum extra each month is like a family who sends their kids to public school leasing a luxury car. It doesn’t come easy. And the worst part is the schools don’t care! They don’t care that you don’t have the money. They don’t care if you send your child to public school.

To 45 from 42
Guest
To 45 from 42

You sound like the issue of government support is a topic that you are passionate about. What I am calling for is not some government hand out, rather a restoration of a service that the our government is responsible for. In the town on Monroe the satmar hassidim were able to negotiate their own school district. Now when you say that your taxes will go up if government covers our schooling then face reality taxes will go up anyways. Now as far the schools are concerned the reality is that iit costs around 10 to 12 k per year to… Read more »

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