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Unread 12-24-2009, 11:09 AM   #51
MahTovChelkeinu
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AWJ - I have heard about these types of projects in the past. The financial transparency is good, but how does that differ in terms of dollars and cents from a traditional not-for-profit. 501(c)(3)s are obligated to report quite a lot about their balance sheets and also make zero profit. The only substantial savings I see in your plan is a smaller number of administrators. Where else are you saving money?
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Unread 12-24-2009, 12:23 PM   #52
awonderingjew
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(#1) Administrative and staff payroll can be tremendous. (#2) Since this is a school of a much smaller scale, there is less ability to take advantage of the system. Any tuition assistance would have to be agreed upon and shared openly by the other families. This is somewhat self-screening towards parents that can pay the full tuition. However, we feel that we are asking for a reasonable price where parents can more likely pay full tuition. In our older kids Yeshiva, a fairly large percentage of tuition dollars goes to support 'scholarships'. As a side issue, it has become OK and expected to ask for tuition assistance...For me a major thorn in my side, when I work very hard to not ask for assistance. This means not spending as much time with my children as I would wish. While, others receive tuition assistance and don't seem to make the effort. Perhaps, even disincentiviced to work harder. This is an old story.
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Unread 12-24-2009, 03:15 PM   #53
Torah613
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So...the "haves" band together and shut out the "have-nots"? Is that the theory?

Also - I see that that website is talking about a kindergarten. When you get to HS age - and it works - let us know.
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Unread 12-24-2009, 03:39 PM   #54
MahTovChelkeinu
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Very few parents of 8+ kids can pay full tuition for all of them, its just not possible.

Even with a "respectable," "educated" job, like a college professor or a state's attorney, you are looking at around $100K maximum for one person and usually less. With two parents working full time you're going to have a really hard time taking care of 8 kids, but that still is only around $200K per year. I am being really generous here to assume both can average that much money; even $150K per year total is generous but let's use that.

Even with tuition at only around $6000 per child (which I doubt you can pull off on a large scale), you're looking at almost $50,000 per year to pay full tuition. With taxes, mortgage and all the other stuff, I doubt very much that many families are going to be able to keep that up giving one third of their gross earnings to the school. At that level, almost one third is already going to taxes, leaving only $4000 per month for a large family to pay all of their expenses. Some can do it on that budget, but not many - especially since real estate prices trend higher in frum areas.

I work very hard as well so I can understand your frustration with others who seem not to, but I'm not sure your plan really fully takes into account the costs and challenges of education in a big family frum community.

Also, you have to remember that many families would like to (and deserve to) keep their finances private... it doesn't seem fair to me that all the parents get to know that Chaim the butcher makes $30K a year, but that nobody gets to know what Dovid the attorney makes at his big firm job.
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Unread 12-24-2009, 07:50 PM   #55
awonderingjew
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[quote=Torah613;160672]So...the "haves" band together and shut out the "have-nots"? Is that the theory?

I would respond that, first of all, we are trying our best to make less "have-nots" by making tuition more realistic.

However, is it fair for the "have-nots" to expect the "haves" to automatically support them?

I was raised that if I can't afford something, th.en don't get it. Don't ask for a handout. I know that not everyone was raised this way.

Wasn't it Rabbi Akiva who said something like....'make your Shabbos like a weekday before taking money from another'.

Regarding HS, I know it has been done for decades in this country. I would imagine that in the shtetlach, hiring a melamed for a group of families is similar to what we are doing. But, i will let you know in a few years when we get there.
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Unread 12-24-2009, 07:56 PM   #56
Torah613
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IOW, the "have nots" are let out to dry - if they can't afford the chinuch, their children don't get it. I am happy to get that clarity on the table.

Learn some halocho, and you will see that the "haves" do have a responsibility to the "have nots" when it comes to chinuch...
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Unread 12-24-2009, 08:03 PM   #57
awonderingjew
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Quote:
Originally Posted by MahTovChelkeinu View Post
Very few parents of 8+ kids can pay full tuition for all of them, its just not possible.

Even with a "respectable," "educated" job, like a college professor or a state's attorney, you are looking at around $100K maximum for one person and usually less. With two parents working full time you're going to have a really hard time taking care of 8 kids, but that still is only around $200K per year. I am being really generous here to assume both can average that much money; even $150K per year total is generous but let's use that.

Even with tuition at only around $6000 per child (which I doubt you can pull off on a large scale), you're looking at almost $50,000 per year to pay full tuition. With taxes, mortgage and all the other stuff, I doubt very much that many families are going to be able to keep that up giving one third of their gross earnings to the school.
These are all good points. However, the current system is not working. Many of the rebbeim and teachers in our local yeshivas haven't been paid in almost a month. This situation, CV, might get worse.
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Unread 12-24-2009, 08:07 PM   #58
chossidnistar
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Quote:
Originally Posted by awonderingjew View Post
[I would respond that, first of all, we are trying our best to make less "have-nots" by making tuition more realistic..
ok
Quote:
Originally Posted by awonderingjew View Post
[However, is it fair for the "have-nots" to expect the "haves" to automatically support them?.
yes,kol Ysrael areivim ze laze
I
Quote:
Originally Posted by awonderingjew View Post
[ was raised that if I can't afford something, th.en don't get it. Don't ask for a handout. I know that not everyone was raised this way..
why do you have to enforce this or anything to someone else .

Quote:
Originally Posted by awonderingjew View Post
[Wasn't it Rabbi Akiva who said something like....'make your Shabbos like a weekday before taking money from another'..
this money is for learning of their kids, not for the parents

.[/quote]
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Unread 12-24-2009, 08:08 PM   #59
awonderingjew
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Torah613 View Post
IOW, the "have nots" are let out to dry - if they can't afford the chinuch, their children don't get it. I am happy to get that clarity on the table.

Learn some halocho, and you will see that the "haves" do have a responsibility to the "have nots" when it comes to chinuch...
First of all please let's discuss with respect. Your statement "LEARN SOME HALOCHO", I feel is not respectful. Perhaps, I don't know much halacha, is this how I should really be informed of that?

My question is (According to Halacha): To what extent are the "haves" obligated to contribute to the chinuch of others? Time and percentage of income?

With a tear in my eye, I have missed much of my children's youth working long hours.
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Unread 12-24-2009, 08:12 PM   #60
Torah613
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I apologize.
Let me say it differently: Such an attitude is contrary to halocho, and Jewish values across the ages.
But I am probably biased, since I fall into the "have-nots" category.
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Unread 12-24-2009, 08:19 PM   #61
awonderingjew
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Originally Posted by Torah613 View Post
I apologize.
Let me say it differently: Such an attitude is contrary to halocho, and Jewish values across the ages.
But I am probably biased, since I fall into the "have-nots" category.
Apology accepted. Personally, we fall into the "half-haves". I understand that the attitude of 'not wanting to give any tzedaka, maaser, or chesed' is contrary to halacha and jewish values. But, how can anyone be told where they will be giving their tzedaka via hyperinflated tuition costs?

And, please, anyone answer my question that I posed two posts up.
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Unread 12-24-2009, 08:25 PM   #62
Torah613
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I am involved with a group of parents who are trying to form a "cooperative" school. The blog below that deals with economics in the Frum world has posted our press release. It should be the first entree, if not search "Jewish cooperative school"
http://orthonomics.blogspot.com/
Feel free to contact me if you have any questions. We were told by an expert in the field of Charter schools that this might be the surviving model of the future.
After reading the blog (and the comments), and since that (in a way) I was once involved in something similar for a time, I have several questions on this.

First one is - how much (approx) does it cost per child? There is no mention at all of the actual cost.
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Unread 12-24-2009, 08:27 PM   #63
awonderingjew
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Honestly, I must say that the main reason for us expending this much energy for this 'cooperative school' is that we wanted a more, loving, progressive, smaller-classroom education for our kids. We were not satisfied with our options and certainly not happy with what our tuition dollars were buying.
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Unread 12-24-2009, 08:30 PM   #64
Torah613
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Originally Posted by awonderingjew View Post
Apology accepted. Personally, we fall into the "half-haves". I understand that the attitude of 'not wanting to give any tzedaka, maaser, or chesed' is contrary to halacha and jewish values. But, how can anyone be told where they will be giving their tzedaka via hyperinflated tuition costs?

And, please, anyone answer my question that I posed two posts up.
I am not talking about tzedaka in general, I am talking about the specific issue of helping children have an education, concerning which there was a specific takono from the time of the Gemoro making it the communities responsibility that every child be educated. I do not see a dollar amount (or percentage of income) in the halocho - I do see that the "have-nots" can force the "haves" to educate their child.

How this halocho is implemented in todays age is a good question - I was merely pointing out the principle involved.
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Unread 12-24-2009, 08:30 PM   #65
awonderingjew
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Torah613 View Post
After reading the blog (and the comments), and since that (in a way) I was once involved in something similar fir a time, I have several questions on this.

First one is - how much (approx) does it cost per child? There is no mention at all of the actual cost.
This year, pre-k was $5000 per child. For K and first we are looking at around between $7000-8000. There is some overbudgeting in case unexpected costs arise, especially during the first year.
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Unread 12-24-2009, 08:34 PM   #66
Torah613
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So what happens when (for example) you go up to 4th grade, and a family has 4 children in the school from pre-K thru 4th grade (which often happens in our circles)? You are looking at about $30,000 - without any discount at all, in addition to all the time that one has to invest into such a school!?
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Unread 12-24-2009, 08:35 PM   #67
awonderingjew
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Originally Posted by Torah613 View Post
I am not talking about tzedaka inn general, I am talking about the specific issue of helping children have an education, concerning which there was a specific takono from the time of the Gemoro making it the communities responsibility that every child be educated. I do not see a dollar amount (or percentage of income) in the halocho - I do see that the "have-nots" can force the "haves" to educate their child.

How this halocho is implemented in todays age is a good question - I was merely pointing out the principle involved.
Then more power to our vision since it allows educating children at a reduced rate.

But, there must be some limit on what an individual family is obligated to contribute to this communal obligation. As with Tzedakah, there is a limit. Almost thirty percent of our income is going to tuition.
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Unread 12-24-2009, 08:39 PM   #68
Torah613
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Almost thirty percent of our income is going to tuition.
See what I wrote in post #66 - you will end up with the same problem before you know it. For most of us - $30,000 is well over thirty percent.
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Unread 12-24-2009, 08:45 PM   #69
awonderingjew
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So what happens when (for example) you go up to 4th grade, and a family has 4 children in the school from pre-K thru 4th grade (which often happens in our circles)? You are looking at about $30,000 - without any discount at all, in addition to all the time that one has to invest into such a school?
I don't have the answer to that question yet. I would like to say that if we are successful, then we could have a fund set up for those situations. But, again, the current situation is a financial failure and not self-sustainable. We are just trying to find an alternative.

Again, the main motivation was the enhanced educational experience. It is a wonderful thing to see the teachers being able to focus on each child as an individual since there will only be 10 kids in each class. (Our pre-k this year that we set up has 7 kids).

Now, according to our numbers, if we increased the class size to 15 kids, then (full) tuition could be as low as $5000. many expenses could be shared with other grades. Remember, I am the music teacher, another parent is the outdoors man, another parent is the substitute, etc.

We have heard of cooperative schools that were tuition free and the parents were the actual teachers...
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Unread 12-24-2009, 08:49 PM   #70
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Parents with jobs that have several children of all ages?
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Unread 12-24-2009, 10:26 PM   #71
MahTovChelkeinu
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This year, pre-k was $5000 per child. For K and first we are looking at around between $7000-8000. There is some overbudgeting in case unexpected costs arise, especially during the first year.
This is really not much of a savings from most of the traditional schools I know of. Some pre-schools are super expensive, but I've seen typical tuition range anywhere from $5000 to $8000 for K-8. Full tuition is usually around 8. Most schools offer "group rates" which basically cap the total tuition any one family can pay at, for example, 4 kids.
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Unread 12-25-2009, 12:45 AM   #72
awonderingjew
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This is really not much of a savings from most of the traditional schools I know of. Some pre-schools are super expensive, but I've seen typical tuition range anywhere from $5000 to $8000 for K-8. Full tuition is usually around 8. Most schools offer "group rates" which basically cap the total tuition any one family can pay at, for example, 4 kids.
Is that all it costs in your area? Then I imagine that the tuition that we would charge would be less, too.

Compare our price to the other options: one South Florida dayschool charged $10,500 for tuition, $2,800 mandatory scholarship fund, & $500 building fund for a total of $13,800 for Kindergarten. This school's cost is just about the same as the other two local dayschools, although they may categorize the fees differently.

But here's the real difference: our child is getting the exact education we want her to have with the best teachers imaginable! And that is the bottom line.
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Unread 12-25-2009, 12:12 PM   #73
Torah613
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To go back a bit to the original topic - which was the attitude of "our" mosdos vs "their" mosdos when it comes to taking money (by "their" I mean the ones referred to as "lakewood type schools").

I was speaking to an acquaintance, who recently moved his child from one of "ours" to one of "theirs" (for reasons that are not relevant to this discussion). Obviously that mosod has full tuition of $7000 plus - but the kicker was as follows:

When discussing with the comittee what he should pay - they asked him what he can afford without breaking the bank and undue hardship for the family (and I know of other examples of this (in other of "their" mosdos), as I alluded to before in post #3). A far cry from many of "our" mosdos - where all the kvetching and crying in the world would knock it down very minimally (as I also know firsthand...), and "just give a working CC number"...

But as Noah put it nicely before (though I am not sure he meant it exactly this way) - put it down to their obssesion (nebach...) of Ahavas Hatorah - meaning the children learning Torah.

Are all of "their" schools like this? I don't know. But definitely many are.

VAKML.
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Unread 12-25-2009, 12:57 PM   #74
MahTovChelkeinu
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I've heard similar stories. In my area, "their" mosdos (specifically modern orthodox schools) tend do have a higher average income and lower average number of children per family. That does help the schools offer better scholarships.

Also, "their" mosdos frequently have more students total (up to six full classes per grade) compared to most Lubavitcher schools which have only two classes per grade which are not always full.

But the tuition board's comments sound very much like your friend was treated quite well and I applaud them for that. No matter what the school's issues, its good that they treated your friend well.

Quote:
Compare our price to the other options: one South Florida dayschool charged $10,500 for tuition, $2,800 mandatory scholarship fund, & $500 building fund for a total of $13,800 for Kindergarten. This school's cost is just about the same as the other two local dayschools, although they may categorize the fees differently.
Yeah that's crazy. $10,000 or so per child is usually what I hear for full tuition at the elementary school level. I have heard of preschools that charge more, but that is sometimes because the pre-school is an optional grade (some parents can just start the kids later) and therefore used as a profit center to help out the older grades.

Although I am curious about the scholarship fund and building fund being mandatory if a family needs help.

Quote:
But here's the real difference: our child is getting the exact education we want her to have with the best teachers imaginable! And that is the bottom line.
Then you are lucky. Most folks I know have to compromise because they are unique. Its impossible to get enough families together that all want exactly the same thing. Some want more secular, less secular, do teach this book, don't teach this book, speak Yidish, speak modern Hebrew, say yechi, don't say yechi, etc. etc. etc.
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Unread 12-25-2009, 01:11 PM   #75
Torah613
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It seems that the mosad in question is more of the right wing variety with large families etc. etc.
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