The newest installment in the ongoing tuition series in the New Jersey Jewish Standard seems more like an infomerical than a frank discussion of reality.
Five Bergen County principals have kindly written the Jewish Standard in an op-ed to tell us:
- The children are counting on us to provide the current standard of Modern Orthodox education [Thanks for the guilt trip!],
- The schools have made significant cuts we should confuse cuts with "trimming the fat" as all of the services offered are educational necessities [Great, more guilt.],
- The schools really are actually doing a great job containing costs because they provide a dual education for significantly less per student than surrounding public schools [Perhaps a pat on the back is really in order? Perhaps we have nothing to complain about? Given that great amount of inefficiency in public education, I'm not quite sure this is the benchmark to brag about. If anyone is interested in my own take on a "dual curriculum" you can read this past post, Is Jewish Education Inherently More Expensive? Don't forget that many services benefiting private school students, from busing to therapies, are reflected in public school budgets].
- The schools try very hard to make Jewish education affordable by making millions of dollars in scholarships available. The schools will continue to do this and parents having "financial difficulties" should avail themselves. [Note to principals: Just because many of us can't afford the schools doesn't mean we are having "financial difficulties." Am I in a bad mood, or am I sensing a disconnect? And, let's not pretend that more financial assistance for some means rising tuition for others.]
- The schools are meeting as part of a joint committee to explore new avenues of funding for [Bergen County] yeshivot. "Concrete plans are being laid" and recommendations will be made soon. [Anyone want to guess what recommendations are coming?]
Now that the infomercial is over. . . . . . . . anyone want to talk about real change before it reality slaps us in the face? (Sorry to be pessimistic. It is that type of day/month/year).