Although some commentors had suggested a desire to get Beyond Tuition, we clearly see this issue is causing much pain for the frum middle case. We thought it made sense to “promote to post” some suggestions Charnie, Tzvi, Sefardi Lady and others in the Beyond BT community have made on the tuition issue to date.
Please add any additional thoughts in the comments.
1) that all parents – baring the most extrememe circumstances, pay at least a minimum;
2) that yeshiva boards not be made up only of the wealthier end of the parent body, but have a broader representation economically;
3) that schools look to cut costs by combining facilities where it is geographical feasible;
4) that every school makes sure it is taking advantage of every possible grant out there. BYQ is a wonderful example, as anyone who’s seen their computer lab can attest;
5) accept the fact that a Rebbe or Morah’s reduced tuition is a barter – they’re making less then many of us, but they’re providing an important service;
6) we work together with other groups (Solomon Schector, Christians, Catholics, etc) to gain more in the form of vouchers &/or tax credits;
a) that also means considering political candidates positions on these issues when we go to vote.
7) scholarships should not be given out based totally on an applicant’s 1099.
8) that in NYC we learn from some OOT yeshivas that require parents to help out at a school in exchange for financial aid. Some schools might even be able to cut salaries that way.
9. Along with point #1, we must state that NO CHILD will be denied a yeshiva education because the parents can’t afford it.
10. Aside from schools “combining facilities” (a pipe dream IMO, unless the crisis — for them — becomes severe), schools should at least coordinate efforts
a) to encourage community members (including non-parents) to direct more $$ to the community’s schools,
b) to ensure that every child has a place in a school, and that scholarships are available and equitably distributed across the schools (ala Chicago’s Kehilla Fund)
c) to pool resources for expensive special programs (ala the 5 Towns / Far Rockaway’s CAHAL)
11. Yeshivos should seek help from parents and others on how to increase fundraising, especially from alumni.
12. Parents must be encouraged to take a hard look at their priorities, and be reminded that tuition (full if at all possible) must be the first item budgeted and paid, before vacations, camp, new cars, home additions, etc., etc.
13. Community members, especially those pre- or post-tuition years, and those with fewer children and more resources, should be reminded to direct their generosity first and foremost to their community yeshivos.
14. Look at the possibility of combining duplicate functions and providing enhanced functions through cooperation (a big example being the need for vocational courses and the lack of an adequate size classroom if one school where to provide such).
15. We should also look at the possibility of spreading tuition out over 12 months, instead of 10
16. Tell the schools to stop making our children the middle man when it comes to requesting money
17. Stop punishing parents who pay over 10 months with “fees.”