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Tuesday, November 22, 2011

Tuition in Israel

This Arutz Sheva article showed up in my Google Alerts for Yeshiva Tuition today. MK Orlev is setting up a panel to examine why tuition is so high in Israeli Yeshiva high schools. While many here in the US of A speak about how inexpensive tuition is in the state of Israel, tuition in Israel is much lower ($1400 per year per student for commuters and $3200 for schools with dormitories).

Yet, for many Israelis, the tuition is excessive, especially with multiple children. Parents want transparency and cost cutting measures. The committee would investigate budgets and see if they are getting all of their government funds.

I'd like to hear from my Israeli readers regarding this article and whether the calls to do something regarding tuition are widespread and what those who can't meet the costs do in the present.


Alexis said...

These figures are averages. I know from looking at NBN schools profiles that the better yeshivot/ulpanot (at least the ones Anglos send to) are often charging above NIS 10,000 a year. That's a lot on an Israeli salary. Whenever people start saying "make aliyah, tuition is cheaper" I point out that costs are relative. If you're not making your American salary in Israel, which is difficult if you come when you are older, the relative tuition burden may not improve.

Moshe said...

Please keep in mind that these tuitions are in addition to the State funding that the schools receive.

Bethami said...

its relative: keep in mind that (depending on how religious you want the school to be) you can send your children to the local public school for much, much less and still have a jewish atmosphere, vacation on jewish holidays, and an overall jewish culture, parallel to some community day schools in the US. there are also public religious high schools that cost a great deal less than the yeshivot and ulpanot. one such high school just opened in modiin (where we live) because parents wanted a religious school, but disliked the exclusivity and long hours of the yeshivot and ulpanot, *as well as* the high tuition. there are many other cheaper options. our kids are still little, but i imagine that we'll send them there when they get older. (also - there are more secular or non-denominational semi-private high schools that cost just as much)

Anonymous said...

The tuition for private schools is high when you consider Israeli salaries. Plus, those who have cars usually need them for work, so driving kids to and from 3 schools each day (or even carpooling) is not realistic. Since you generally can't walk and the little ones can't go by city bus, they need trasnportation.
On a 12,000 NIS monthly salary, I pay about 500 NIS per kid per month (and keep in mind, the big boys get a "full day" until 3:30, but the big girls and little boys are out by 1:30ish...) If you have 5 kids, that's a huge amount of money, plus add busfare (city bus costs about 100 NIS a month, but the private bus costs about 200. So a family of 5 kids, even with some carpooled/walked, can easily spend another 500 on transportation. 3000 NIS on school is a lot out of 12000 - 1/4 of a salary. It is kind of like Americans who make 200K and spend 50K on tuition.

Akiva said...

There's a number of "scammy" aspects to the Israeli school systems...and systems is the right word. There's the secular school system (which sometimes is moderately religious, sometimes not), the state religious school system (in which schools range from religious-lite to charedi-ultra-lite), and the private-but-partially-state-funded very religious system (chinuch atzmai).

The state religious is funded at less per student than secular (say 80%), and the private-but-funded on a sliding scale that goes up to 60% depending on how much of the State curriculum they teach.

Regardless, Israeli schools are poorly equipped and have low quality facilities compared to US schools. They minimally or not at all supply classrooms. And they have no textbooks - rather the parents are expected to buy paperback versions of the textbooks - which they change every 2-3 years limiting the used book market.

The net result is parents are expected to provide all supplies for their children and the classroom (like every child contributes 1 box of chalk for the teacher for the board per year), pay for every extracurricular activity, and pay a monthly fee so the school can cover it's real operating cost.

The good news is schools are not overloaded with administration nor are they sticking family members into administration and padding the rolls. The secular and state-religious systems require teachers to have a state teaching certificate, which requires 2 years of schooling to receive.

But teacher pay is atrocious and comes with no special benefits (like pensions) that you get in the US. But teachers can't loose their jobs due to pregnancy and get a state mandated off time for it (paid for by the social security system - bituach leumi) and do work a short day (before high school most schools end by 1:30, some extend to 2:30).

However, Israeli schools tend to be SMALL, very much like the US Jewish religious schools, resulting in multiplied administrative costs, security costs (every school must have an armed security guard), and giving them no purchasing power or other such costs.

There are NO school districts like in the US.