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Monday, July 16, 2007

Parental Support: Houston We Have a Problem

I am hoping to follow up this post with a number of other tuition, camp, and tzedakah related posts.

It seems that the current generation of parents is being helped to heavily supported by their own parents, almost regardless of income level and regardless of their position in the community. From kollel yungerman to doctors and lawyers, it seems that a high percentage of families need a helping hand. And while it is nice when parents can help their children build financial security, I believe much of the help is not in the form of wealth building, but is just in the form of helping children make ends meet (i.e. the wealth will not have the potential to continue into the next generation). And that is scary!

In a previous post, an anonymous poster writes:

I pay over $120,000 per year on my children's tuition. Our gross family income is $280,000 per year. If we did not have relatives that help we could not make it. My kids yeshivos charge whatever the market will bear and ask for over $20,000 for high school and over $10,000 for elementary school. What a racket! This does not include lunch and summer programming.

At first I was astounded. Obviously this is a large family. But with such a high income, do they really need family help just to make it? Or is that family help really going to fund what something beyond the basics.

After guesstimating the number of dependents and plugging the figures into my tax software to estimate net-income, I answered my own question. Yes, a large, dual-income family with an enviable income more than likely needs help just to put food of the table after tuition and childcare.

And all I can say is "Houston We Have a Problem."

44 comments:

atutionsolution said...

Great post.

Unfortunately, the support bubble has started to burst.

What are we going to do about it?

SephardiLady said...

Watch for my next post. ;)

Binyamin said...

Yes there is a very big problem

As I pay Yeshiva Tuition - and get sick thinking about it and have to deal with arrogant yeshiva administrators - who go on month long vacations to Israel - on my dime - I just wonder how the next generation will do it

The system is unsustainable

Ayelet said...

Confessions of a "kollel" wife: The only money I save regularly is a few percent of my salary to a TDA.

I'm headed for disaster aren't I? Be brutally honest.

Reb Yudel said...

$120k for yeshiva tuition?

Seems like it's time to (1) make aliya (2) home school (3) hire a couple teachers and charge your neighbors $6k / kid to enroll their kids in your start-up school.

Or (4) use the threat of the above to bargain down the schools.

Ari Kinsberg said...

binyamin:

tuition is a big problem for many families, but i'm not sure that we should be blaming administrators. if you think your children get a great education, then the administrators deserve your dime (so do the teachers, of course, though they often get just pennies). if you are not satisfied with their education, then it is irrelevant how much the administrators gets paid. you have bigger problems to deal with.

Anonymous said...

...and after you pay your tuition bill, how do you pay your maaser?

binyamin said...

Ari - Administrators who can afford month long vacations to Israel are obviously being paid too much. Many administrators make $200,000+ per year - and even if my kids were getting a great education - overpaying for yeshiva tuition to the confiscatory levels prevelant today is not justified

Your "poetry" makes no sense

teachers are another story - they are likely underpaid - less so at the school my kids go to

If I don't send them to yeshiva and send them to public school they will grow up to be not frum and assimilated

There is no solution other than Aliya or government funding - the way it is in the UK and France

binyamin said...

Government Funding is the only american answer

The government pays for all secular subjects + GYM + lunch - just like they do for the public schools - the system is not otherwise sustainable - Also consider this

The number of children orthodox jewish families have is directly related to yeshiva tuition costs

LWMO have lowest birthrate and yeshiva tuition is $20K to $25K

and Satmer have the most kids 10+ and their tuition is about 1K per kid. So ten satmar kids cost less then half what it costs to raise one MO kid - not even considering all the other costs camp etc

David said...

I have been waiting for some folks to seriously propose (and start!) some small 3 and 4 family co-ops. I see that as the most viable solution to the problem of paying for the education of large families in our system.

DAG said...

Again. The real problem is there is little or no oversight on too many Jewish organization's finances.

We need to have a community policy, 100% board oversight, full independent audits and published 990's or NO TZEDAKA MONEY.

I have personally seen Jewish administrators waste HUNDREDS of Thousands of Tzedaka Dollars on pure incompetence. This HAS to stop.

Ari Kinsberg said...

binyamin:

thanks for the compliment. i don't generally consider myself to be creative, and certainly not in a poetic sense. in any case . . .

please tell me how much you think the experienced ceo of a company on the scale of the average day school, who works 10 hours a day (could be more) and likely sundays, derserves to get paid. (if you are talking about certain rw schools where the yeshivah is basically the personal fiefdom of one individual, well that is your fault for sending you kids to that particular school.)

"overpaying for yeshiva tuition"

this is the biggest fallacy of discussions about the tuition "crisis." tuition is expensive, often prohibitively so. but it is not "overpriced." you want a cheaper tuition? send your kids to satmar (see below). but like most things in life, here too you get what you pay for.

"Government Funding is the only american answer"

a pipe dream

"The number of children orthodox jewish families have is directly related to yeshiva tuition costs . . ."

the tuition differential is simply a matter of different expectations of the type of education a school is to provide. a satmar school is basically a building of nothing but simple classrooms, each with a blackboard, desks, crude textbooks and an untrained teacher. big wonder that such a school is much cheaper to operate than one with computer labs, a wide array of extra-curricular programming (including athletics), a true dual curriculum (i think SL takes exception to this), professionally-trained teachers, a counseling staff, etc.

"So ten satmar kids cost less then half what it costs to raise one MO kid"

if your implication is that satmar is doing something right as opposed to MO . . . i've taught in a satmar school and i'm sure you don't want a satmar education for you kids (i'm not talking about from a perspective of hashkafah).

"The number of children orthodox jewish families have is directly related to yeshiva tuition costs"

you've heard about orthodox birth control? -- yeshiva tuition

tamiri said...

I think that people are kidding themselves about the education kids are getting in Day Schools. As far as I am concerned (and we lived in 4 different cities in the States), the education and CHINUCH are inferior, in relation to the tuition charged. It makes me angry to think that people are fooled into thinking otherwise. You want CHINUCH? You want torah knowledge. Come check out practically any Ulpana or Yeshiva HS here in Israel, and dare to compare. I believe that those who advocate Aliya in order to avoid the Day School shandah are right on track. Come and see for yourselves!!! Oh.... and you can also save by living simpler - you can dress like a shlump and no one will say a word. I feel it's a shandah that admins are being paid better than well over half the people who are paying their bills. What the heck does an admin. do to earn $200k/year?

Ari Kinsberg said...

tamiri:

"I feel it's a shandah that admins are being paid better than well over half the people who are paying their bills."

do you say the same thing about lawyers, doctors, accountants, plumbers, etc.? this is a function of capitalism. and to all those who think running a school is so easy and an easy way to make 200k, why don't you go and do it?

"What the heck does an admin. do to earn $200k/year?"

no idea, but schools don't run themselves. unless you are volunteering some pro bono time.

also, can someone who is familiar with the situation (DAG?) tell us some salary stats (mean, SD, etc.). everyone is throwing around this 200k number, but how many actually make this.

Tamiri said...

The point is NO JOB IS EASY, but if you are going to be living off the tzibur, is there any reason to outshine most of your funders? Also, they get tuition breaks ON TOP of their nice salaries. Teachers make nothing and get a break - that's fine. But if you are earning so much, to get an added perk??? While we were killing ourselves on a $135k salary (4 years ago), these guys were living it up. One in particular stands out: he was telling people of his electronic acquisitions (those big flat screen projector tvs), the expansion of his home etc. Granted, it may not all have come from his income (though it was known to be generous, he also married a Phd as in Papa has Dough) but it was wrong for him to be flaunting this while the masses sweated to pay tuition. Also, don't those is public office have to give full disclosure? I am happy to have found Orthonomics, maybe the mystery of "how things work" will unravel. We could not figure it out while living there. I just can't imagine that everyone is capable of pulling in over $200k/year. Not everyone has parents with means. We did not get it then, we don't get it now but B'H it's not a burning issue any longer. The funny thing is that people here could not understand how someone with our income could essentially be "poor". Go explain it to someone outside the system. The day I saw a $9k plus bill for our then 4 year old was the day we KNEW our time in the States was up.

rescue37 said...

For the schools that don't hide behind the claim they are a "church" their tax filling (form 990) is avaliable online at www.guidestar.org
If you scroll down to schedule A, their is a requirement to list the top 5 wage earners earning over $50,000. You need to register for basic service, but their is no charge. Chances are you won't find a 990 for yeshivas, but girl schools will sometimes be listed (e.g. Shulamith, Bnos Bais Yaakov of Far Rockaway). They don't always seem the most forthright as some schools list "None" as employees earning over $50k. In some instances, I personally don't believe it, but it could be they get paid out of a different source.

Bob Miller said...

This blog article says that the accumulated wealth of past generations is being used up educating today's generation, so that grandparents' money will not be available to fund tomorrow's generation.

While the article looks at this from the parents' point of view, imagine how this looks from the schools' point of view (if they're looking)! If they ponder this situation, school administrators (and, by extension, communities and Torah Umesorah) will have no alternative but to plan for a whole different operating model in order to survive.

rescue37 said...

For those complaining about the salaries of the administrators. It is very common that such salaries are related to the amount of donations the bring in. This is also very common in the outside world where high level employees will have a base salary and also receive some sort of percentage of donations that they bring in. For example, if someone in the Red Cross would bring in a substantial donor, that they would receive a nice bonus.

SephardiLady said...

Thank you Bob Miller for clearly stating my premise: We are expending the resources of the older generation on the present and are not replenishing for the next generation.

All comments are welcome, but I definitely want to look at the subject at hand.

SephardiLady said...

Con't: I don't know who is looking and can't really speculate. A couple that we know that is in education and administration is very casual about the situation and just figures when the money runs dry people will just do what they have to do (like go to Community College with little to no post-HS yeshiva/seminary). They don't seem to think K-12 education will be impacted. I hope they are right. But, I'm doubtful.

Ariella said...

The fact that such that a couple with taht much income needs help from others would indicate that there is indeed a problem.I have heard from wives that it does not pay for them to work, as their contribution to household income will all just have to go to tuition. Also it is importatn to remember that what you earn is not what you take home. In additon to taxes -- assessed at a rate calculated based on total income if the married couple files jointly -- there are commuting and additional childcare expenses for working mothers. So your 100K job may only mean even less than 40K of additional money, though to the schools it looks like you have another 100K for tuition.

Bob Miller said...

Regarding Sephardi Lady's comment of July 17, 2007 12:43 PM.

The idea you were told, that post-grade-12 education will be tossed overboard in this financial crisis but K-12 will float along, is a fantasy. MO communities will continue to press their men and women to get solid academic degrees, preferably advanced ones. RW communities will continue to stress advanced Yeshiva study for the men and career training (teaching, business, computers...) for the women.

There has to be more financial/administrative integration of:
1. Schools at the same level, and
2. All school levels

It's one big problem.

If administrators of any school or any level think they can swim while the others sink, they're sadly mistaken.

riv said...

I cannot believe it costs a school $20K to educate a child and that someone is not getting rich off of this... at our school in the midwest HS tuition tops out under $9K (and housing is very affordable too...)

SephardiLady said...

Bob-I see no way that K-12 education will not be impacted. But I hope my worries will be proven wrong, or we will just rebuilt the Beit HaMikdash and not have to worry about all of this.

SephardiLady said...

Ariella-I am of the belief that it tuition never tops out (and the earner gets to enjoy the difference) that people will NOT pursue more income. There must be material incentive for people to work themselves harder.

More on this at a later post. Good points.

SephardiLady said...

Ayelet-I'm not sure you are any worse off than a lot of high earning professionals that I know with little to nothing to their name and a home mortgaged to the hilt.

But, that said, we all should probably be saving more than we are.

Honestly Frum said...

The problem is huge and I think everyone will agree that not one shabbos passes without this huge issue being discussed at the table. But how many people are actually doing anything about it aside from complaining? How many people actually go to speak with the presidents and board members of the local schools and local rabbonim? A friend of mine I recently met with the president of our son's school to see what we can do to get involved and to discuss the tuition issue to see if we can help in any way, and he told us that we were THE FIRST people to ask him for such a meeting. I think that it is time that we stopped talking and started acting. Call the presidents and board members of the schools, get a better idea to what the budgets are, perhaps you have a suggestion that they did not think of. But to just sit around complaining and not doing anything about it is getting us nowhere.

Concerned said...

I'm really glad I found your blog. Even though I'm recently married (1.5 years) and we have no plans for children in the immediate future, this issue scares me to no end.

I am MO, but when I was born my parents were conservative and moving to the right. It was a BIG debate at the time to decide to send me to yeshiva over public school. My parents paid (and are still paying) that off even though me and my 2 siblings are all out of yeshiva for many years now. They borrowed significantly against their house to afford it. When they asked for a break the yeshiva forced them to open up their life history and then gave them $500 saying they earned too much to be considered for more. My siblings and I never went to sleep away camps and we never went on vacations, instead we went camping because we couldn't afford anything else. We all went to college and had to take out nearly $100K in debt since my parents were already mortgaged up to their eyeballs.

What's my point? My wife and I will be earning much more money than my parents do even now. But with all the debt we have (we don't even have a mortgage yet) I think we'll be in the same boat as the person in your post - a huge income on paper, but struggling to get by in reality (and no, neither of our parents are in a position to help us and it's quite frankly absurd that they would need to help us considering our future income). And the cycle just continues...escalating debt, mortgaging up to your eyeballs, yeshivas laughing at the notion you don't have enough to pay, kids upset they can't go to camp like everyone else or go to israel or the islands every year, and of course kids being forced to take out mammoth amounts of debt to go to a college and grad school so they can attempt to earn enough money to live in the MO community. I shudder to think what others with lesser income will do.

To a certain extent I think we do it to ourselves. Why do all of the yeshivas near me have beautiful gigantic buildings and sprawling facilities with pools, basketball courts, track, etc etc (and those that don't have are currently looking for new buildings). Why is tuition nearly $20,000 a kid when there are at least 500 kids in the high school (where is $10 million going? The teachers hardly make anything)? Why do people pay nearly $4000 for 1 month or $8000 for 2 months per kid for sleepaway camp (the counselors make maybe $1000-$2000, where's the money going?)? It even comes down to large communities where everyone shops at the same butcher shops and kosher restaurants and even though hundreds shop there for some reason chicken breast is $6 a pound or a turkey sandwich is $12. I could go on.

It just seems we're stuck in this cycle of people getting gouged and then not complaining (or even worse, in the case of tuition, insisting their yeshiva also have an exercise room or whatever).

At this point I'm just rambling, it just makes me so sick to my stomach.

binyamin said...

Ari - my point about satmar and other chareidm is they have found a model that works and they will own the future of orthodox judaism

Mr. & Mrs. Chosid with ten kids will have 10,000 Decendants after 5 generations (and a generation for them is only 20 years) Mr. & Mrs. MO will have 16 Decendants

binyamin said...

If goverment funding akin to UK and France (and Kazakstan) is a "a pipe dream" - (which I don't think it is)then the only alternatives are (1)Aliya, (2)the chareidi model, the (3)mormon nodel - all live in one place (i.e. 60% of Utah) and flood local public school and supplement with youth groups and torah classes or (4) assimilation

The modern orthodox religion is the most expensive on the planet and is unsustainable

In my area its not a question of if you are going away for pesach - its where are you going for pesach

The MO religion is way too expensive

Bottom line - you can be poor and be chareidi - you can not be poor - or even middle class and be modern orthodox

Anon1 said...

In truly out-of-town places, tuition and other costs of being Jewish are more affordable, even for MO families, but shiurim open to the public and "Jewish creature comforts" are typically much less available, and there are much fewer shuls and schools to choose from. You might not find a shul or school exactly to your liking or fully up to your standards. Furthermore, there is a great likelihood that grown-up children will later gravitate to the NYC area or some other big city area and stay there. There are tradeoffs here as with everything.

Ari Kinsberg said...

anon1:

all rivers flow to nyc. see http://agmk.blogspot.com/2007/06/are-out-of-town-communities-viable.html#links

Ari Kinsberg said...

Binyamin:

"If goverment funding akin to UK and France (and Kazakstan) is a "a pipe dream" - (which I don't think it is)"

government funding to yeshivot on the european/kazak model would NEVER stand a constitutional test. and for good reason. (you think life for jews is so good in kazakistan, or even france?)

even a voucher or tax credit program will likely never make it past the courts, assuming it even gets through the legislature to begin with.

this is why it is a pipe dream.

also even if you get some time of a voucher, most proposals i've heard are just talking about a few thousands dollars. don't get me wrong, every dollar counts. but 4k off of 22K still leaves you with a staggering tuition bill. besides, i guarantee you that tution will rise commensurate to the value of any voucher. if you could afford to pay X until now, they will assume you still can and not let you get away with X minus the value of the voucher.

"In my area its not a question of if you are going away for pesach - its where are you going for pesach"

perhaps you live in a community that is not really for you?

"Bottom line - you can be poor and be chareidi"

there a certain poverty level at which this no longer holds true.

Anonymous said...

I am the woman who posted my tuition bill. I give a minimum of extra tzedakah as I was told that any tuition spent above $8000 per child is considered tzedakah and that my tuition bill can be deducted from my income.

twinsmommy said...

reb yudel, re charging neighbors, and david re doing co-ops.....

Could you elaborate? What are the legal ramifications? Would it be set up as a start up charter school?

I can't see how charging neighbors is legal without the appropriate set-up and resources and paperwork. Then again that's what the backyard camps are doing and in my community those camps are a dime a dozen.

As far as what school administrators do, I used to be one (ran a small supplemental Hebrew school)..... it's a HARD, thankless job. I kind of enjoyed it, but I'm a nut that way.

-- hire teachers
-- plan curriculum
-- plan special programming
-- update teacher handbooks, parent handbooks, policies, etc in conjunction with the board
-- set calendar
-- plan field trips
-- solicit donations or run fundraisers
-- register children in the appropriate classes
-- order books and materials
-- set up continuous learning opps for faculty
-- meet with faculty for strategic planning
-- put together sub lists, sometimes do emergency subbing

the list doesn't end, but I'll end it here because I'm tired. For a full time day school I do believe that headmasters deserve well into the 6 figures. But I also believe that teachers (my husband is one) deserve a lot more than they earn (my hubby earns around $50,000 and with his income and mine combined, we're still in desperate amounts of debt).

Anonymous said...

speaking only about a rebbi in a rw yeshiva, he does okay in my book. he has minimal education, or at least education that somehow differentiates him from 1,000 others in lakewood; he gets summers off so he can make more money in a pleasant and often stress-reduced environment; essentially works part-time since his day is over at 2-3 oclock; is immersed in a frum environment so doesnt have business-lunch, holiday party, co-ed issues,etc. [this is worth money people]; gets reductions in tuition etc; some status in the rw community.
i believe there are a number of commonalities with the chinuch biz accross the board.


o-nomics, i would like to see the numbers you ran for the family that couldnt make it on a quarter of a mill a year.

SephardiLady said...

Anon above--I will post my assumptions in a separate post.

Twins Mommy-I don't see any issue with setting up a homeschool co-op and askin parents who are not contributing with labor to contribute money to cover materials/equipment and/or the costs of hired work like a Rebbe.

SephardiLady said...

Regarding vouchers: I am a supporter of vouchers for American students in general. But expecting vouchers to come along and save the day is a pipe dream IMO. I think the frum community needs to dream the do-able rather than the miracle.

Regarding OOT (Out of Town) communities: At least in my community, there is very little difference between the cost of attending the RW school and the cot of attending the MO school. In NYC the cost of a RW might be far less than that of a MO school, but I haven't found that to be the case outside of NY.

As for keeping up with the other "demands" of a MO lifestyle. .. just say no.

Tamiri said...

If you say NO to the demands of a MO lifestyle, in the "stylish" neighborhoods, you are viewed as an outcast. Your children will not be "in". I have a friend who makes a nice salary (oh, and pays full tuition for four kids) but drove a run down car. The shul secretary was telling her about a trip somewhere, but thought that might be out of her price range.... they earn about $240K!!!!! The secretary made an assumtion based on the car! You are viewed by what you have (old car, old clothing), not by what you are. It's sad and true. And I don't believe it's limited to the MO, not based on seeing the anorexic looking be-sheiteled models running around Brooklyn. Ya gotta keep up. However, when it comes to tuition... that is another story. You can live fancy but beg for a scholarship, and the schools, in my experience, do not dig deeply enough. I am sorry, but people who can afford a new car lease every few years should not get a scholarship. Women in $2500 sheitels do not deserve a scholarship. People who load up on debt while the kids are little (yes, young couples fixing up the house and buying new cars before the bills come in) should not be considered for assistance. Those who overbought a house and have a $3 or $4k mortgage (I know, that isn't so much) should have to prove they need a scholarship. Over our school tuition-paying careers we saw people truly scrimping and saving to pay as much as they could towards education, while others breezed by in new clothes and parent-funded (supposedly) vacations to Florida, and could not pay their part. Although we have been out of the system for 4 years, I am still unsettled by the experience. For the 16 years we lived there we kept hearing "things can't continue this way" and "something has to give" but actually: we saw zero change. Except that the rich got richer and the poor insist on trying to keep up.

Josh said...

The fact that our frum society is funded through a reverse pyramid scheme only highlights its instability. However, I don't believe it's a true problem. Why am I not concerned? Because it's a choice, and once it's no longer an option, people won't have the opportunity to call Mommy and Daddy, or Grandma and Grandpa. When the money dries up, people will grow up and finally fend for themselves. If that shakes up underlying notions prevalent in the community especially the RW, then they'll have to deal with the ideological ramifications too.

So I've always been more bothered by the rise in expenses for frum living than the decline in incomes. I can explain the decline in income, but not the rise in expenses - what of substance has forced tuition to rise faster than inflation? But based on something Tamiri said above, I think it makes a lot of sense now. Expenses aren't going up, but people paying into the system is decreasing. Whereas previously parents mortgaged to send their kids to school, now parents are mortgaging for the new car or vacation. When the time comes for school, many are lining up for scholarships that wouldn't have dared ask for them in the past. As more people make poor lifestyle choices to live richly on money that isn't theirs (either parents or debt), that leaves less money available to feed into the education system, which is compensated by increase tuitions that burden those with "smart" budgeting strategies. In effect, we're subsidizing the "Hot Chanies."

Ari Kinsberg said...

ANON (3:01 am):

is this who i think it is?

TAMIRI:

"If you say NO to the demands of a MO lifestyle, in the "stylish" neighborhoods, you are viewed as an outcast."

1) as i commented to someone above, then you live in the wrong neighborhood and/or have the wrong friends. why live in [i won't get in trouble by mentioning the worst offenders] if this is not who you are. too many people don't take this into consideration when deciding where to settle down.

2)living in flatbush, i can tell you that it is not just the MO who like to live high. long past is the time when only the syrians built mini mansions (though i would not deny that it is probably more prevalent among MO on the whole).

"You can live fancy but beg for a scholarship, and the schools, in my experience, do not dig deeply enough."

i agree with you. anyone who lives in a house worth $800k dollars (which is pretty common in the new york area) does not deserve a scholarship. sell and buy something half as large in less desirable neighborhood. same for cars, vacations, jewelry, etc.

the problem is that it becomes very subjective and tangly for the tuition committee to decide cutoffs and what are legitimate expenses. who derserves a scholarship more: the family with the million dollar home but no new cars or lavish vacations or the family with a $500k home but with luxury cars and vacations. perhaps neither.

Ari Kinsberg said...

JOSH:

realize that schools (at the least the large MO ones) offer a lot more than they did a generation ago. the school i went to now has (as opposed to when i was there): teachers's assistants, numerous fancy computer labs (in addition to computers in every classroom), even more extra-curricular activities, a modern building, higher insurance and energy costs, etc. all this costs money.

also, the rapid rise in yeshiva tuition is parallel to the rise in education in general.

for everyone who thinks yeshivah is overpriced, it is still a bargain compared to private prep schools.

Tamiri said...

Josh: it doesn't matter whether yeshiva day schools are overpriced or not. Quality (or: what you are getting for your money) is another discussion. The fact is it's something the Orthodox community needs but also something many can't afford. Just so you don't think it was so very different years ago: My parents (in their 70s) attended Yeshiva of Flatbush, with my paternal grandmother working in the kitchen there to pay my father's way. My mother's parents raised money from donations to cover what they could not in cash. And they were the only children in their families to attend private school - no dealings with multiple tuitions. My own parents were blessed to make Aliya before tuitions became a major issue so I don't have their point view on this. I imagine my mother would have had to go out to work had we stayed in the States. These days, families are B'H blessed (usually) with at least 3-4 kids. The parents are accustomed to indulging their children (perhaps to compensate for so much time away from them while at work). The parents don't want to be "poor shnooks" like their parents before them may have been: shopping for bargains, resisting designer clothes, walking instead of driving, vacationing at home, doing EVERYTHING possible to save a dime etc. There was an energy crisis in the 70s which raised gas prices for ever. Homes grew to be able to contain all the purchases people amass. Taxes grew as school systems were improved. Cars got so expensive (especially new ones - who the heck got a new car in the old days, when people were honestly paying tuition?) All this translates into the fact that a much larger portion of income is being spent on luxuries, even as the cost of education goes up. In order for people who earn even $100k (which is a nice salary compared to your average American Joe) to afford four tuitions, they would have to live out-of-town, in a house without a huge mortgage, drive older vehicle(s), cook their meals rather than eating out and go camping for vacation. How many people are actually willing to live out-of-town? It's a great option, by the way. Housing and taxes are less and the demands of society are far more modest. If you earn less than that and live "in town" and can't pay your bills (like no parents to pave the way for you), you should get out of town NOW.
I want to thank Orthonomics for raising this for discussion. I never got to the bottom of the formula in the States (how do people DO it) and I am hoping to be enlightened here. Does everyone REALLY earn $200K plus, and we are the only shnooks who couldn't or is that an illusion? The first commentor stated: "the bubble has started to burst". We were told that back in the early 90s and nothing has happened yet.

Anonymous said...

It is not a problem of where you live or how rich you want to live but the cost of yeshiva education. The cost of my 5 children in the year 2015 in eight years will be 121k if the rates increase as they have over the last 4 years. No matter how much you make 121k is too much, not to mention camp expenses. We as a community have to come up with a solution, because a disastor is on its way, ie. less children, and the move to public school. The major Jewish organizations RCA, OU, Young Israel, Agudah etc. have an obligation to implement a solution.
This is not only a MO problem, but across the Ortho community. How many of us MO give to non MO yeshivot(out of our community). ask the charidi , black hat yeshivot how much money comes from MO it will be a lot.