Some ideas are starting to surface regarding just how costs are going to be reduced in day schools. (I will hopefully find time for an Orthonomics radical brainstorm session). The following six ideas were presented by Rabbi Saul Zucker, OU Director of Day School Services (from an article in The Forward):
- Establishing a health plan for yeshiva school employees nationwide, via the O.U., that will be administered by a corporation that already insures tens of thousands of employees.
- Reducing energy costs by converting schools to alternative power sources, such as solar and wind. Zucker said the O.U. had located an agent willing to do a free assessment of conversion costs for individual schools.
- Setting up a kehilla, or community fund, via local Orthodox congregations to allow schools to broaden their fundraising base beyond the families of their students.
- Using a professional grants consultant, to be made available via the O.U., to identify government and private sources for additional financial support and draft the grant proposals to obtain the funds.
- Having yeshiva students, parents and faculty use and get others to use a custom Internet toolbar offered through the O.U. for their Web browser. With each click, corporate sponsors whose ads jump to the top of searches will contribute to a fund to be maintained by the O.U. and disbursed to the schools.
- Holding bingo fundraising events to generate income.
Long time readers know that I am not particularly comfortable with the so very popular Chinese Auctions to say nothing of regular BINGO, but in a brainstorming session, ideas should not be quickly dismissed. Nevertheless, bringing in new money is absolutely essentially, so I can see the utility of BINGO. Ultimately, introducing more gambling as a partial solution to our money problems will have to be on the shoulders of community Rabbonim and Gedolim.
Readers: would you be supportive of introducing BINGO as a fundraiser for your child(ren)'s school?
And, now, onto the SAY WHAT? part of my post.
At the end of the article in The Forward, the vice president of the Los Angeles Maimonides school is quoted regarding the possibility of things getting worse:
"There are people that are not only putting their kids in public schools because it’s cheaper, but they’re also home-schooling them.”
Certainly he met to say *not only home-schooling their children, but placing them in public school*, right? [Updated for clarity: Or is homeschooling possibly considered the greater of the two "evils" by some? I don't want to read too far into his comment, but it seems to me that when the choice is between public schooling and home schooling, giving home schooling a fair shake should be given acceptance as a valid option].
For a related article, see the Beliefnet blog. Thank you to a friend who introduced me to Google Alerts.