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Friday, September 17, 2010

PSA: School Choice in the Sukkah Meeting (NJ)

Thank you to the reader who sent this PSA and may self-identify if he so chooses.

"School Choice in the Sukkah"

With the high cost of Yeshivah tuition coupled with sky-high property taxes, the Jewish Community faces great financial pressures. To discuss this problem and possible solutions, including vouchers and tuition tax credits, Congregation Ohav Emeth will be hosting "School Choice in the Sukkah" on Shabbat Sukkoth, September 25, 2010, from 3:30pm to 5:30pm in the Ohav Emeth Sukkah, 415 Raritan Avenue, Highland Park. (In case of rain the event will take place in the Shul)

Invited speakers (not yet confirmed at the time) include New Jersey Governor Chris Christie, U.S. Congressman Frank Pallone, Jr., and Highland Park Mayor Stephen Nolan. Confirmed speakers include Mayor Anna Little of Highlands, New Jersey, the Republican candidate for the U.S. Congress from our district,

Come be a part of this lively and important discussion.


Anonymous said...

Is politics in the sukkah such a good idea? Someone ruined Rosh hashanah kiddush for me by starting a pro tea-party rant. I kept trying to change the subject, but some people just don't understand that houses of religion and politics don't always mix.

Anonymous said...

In polite society, you don't talk about politics or religion. Religious Jews tend to do both.

Anonymous said...

I hope someone comes armed with SL's posts and arguments why vouchers and tax credits are not the answer. This sounds like it my be another way to distract from the real issues and to allow politicians to do some pandering.

Anonymous said...

I really don't understand the continued obsession with vouchers. IT IS NOT GOING TO HAPPEN.

Lets take New Jersey for example, THE STATE IS BROKE, they slashed everything, and have one of the highest tax burdens in the country, there is no way that this will happen.

Plus, i am of the belief, that should vouchers miraculously appear, it will be the worst possible thing fiscally for the yeshivas. It would only be a one time shot, and the money would stop, the yeshivas would just raise tuition, and the parents would see 0 benefit.

Its really time for new creative solutions and ideas.

The charter schools are forcing the yeshivas and rabbis to come up with them, because people, are sending their kids there.

Once a charter does open in Northern Jersey (which it will eventually), then you will see a giant public brawl over this matter.

Abba's Rantings said...

vouchers. tax credits. ho hum.


"Its really time for new creative solutions and ideas. The charter schools are forcing the yeshivas and rabbis to come up with them, because people, are sending their kids there."

really? show me one piece of evidence that the day school system is even remotely phased by possible competition from charter schools. i have a local charter school in a sea of day schools, but business continues as usual at the latter.

Anonymous said...

People are sending their kids to hebrew charter schools, case in point, look at south florida.

The charter school in brooklyn, is not having any dent on the organized community, because there is no organized community there.

But, wait for a hebrew charter school to open in North Jersey, (Bergen County), to open in the Boston suburbs, to open in Suburban DC, and suburban Baltimore, or even in one or 2 smaller jewish communities around the country, the organized yeshivas/day schools will fight it tooth and nail, and will be forced to compete for students.

For a modern orthodox crowd, that already sends their kids to a jewish day school that is light on the jewish stuff already a school that provides intensive hebrew teaching may be what these people are looking for. Just the yeshivos/ day schools may not be too happy losing the tuition revenue from these families.

Anonymous said...

The problem with the Charters is NOT the impact on the Orthodox community, that is relatively minimal. Most Shomer Mitzvot Orthodox families will not send their kids there, particularly the ones already in the Day School system with one kid.

However, people that are marginal in the community are certainly enrolling child #1 in the charter and seeing what happens, and the school may never notice that because they weren't a school family.

More importantly here, the schools are losing a TREMENDOUS number of "non observant Orthodox" families (they go to the Orthodox Shul for Holidays and occasionally on Shabbat, but aren't community members in terms of the Shabbat lunch circuit, etc), and the traditional non-Orthodox families that sent to the Orthodox Day School.

Those families don't talk to you are Shul, but they sent their 1-3 children to the Day School, and most of them paid full boat.

Nobody can point to more than one or two Miami Beach families that left the school with the charter opening. But the Miami Beach Modern Orthodox School has 100 fewer students than last year (enrollment nearly 600 last year, under 500 this year).

The two non-Orthodox JCC Schools consolidated to one school in Broward County and rented one location to the second charter school.

The Hollywood school, impacted the most, is now having meetings to compete to prevent students from leaving for the RW Yeshiva 20 minutes ago. Pre-charter, those families leaving wasn't considered bad, they were "becoming more religious."

You cannot offer a high quality education for a significantly cheaper price than the local public school system, despite the drastically reduced curricula in the day schools (dual curriculum is less significant than the lack of extra curricular activities in terms of cost, staffing, and student time).

Your per-student cost should probably be around 80%-90% of the local public school per-student cost. However, tuition is NOT directly related to cost, it's related to the revenue needs of the school, which factors significant tuition reductions, scholarship, and non payment into account.

Anonymous said...

The answer is simple and doesn't have to be heated or personal. If having a monetary security cushion, retirement and savings are important and the amt one would need to save is more than their expenditures with tuition then put your kids in public school. You only need to get 1-2 other families to make the leap with you before more will follow. Most people will stay in yeshiva for the foreseeable future but many will not and public school will "suddenly" become a viable option.

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