June 30, 2005

by Reb Yudel
And out of Lawrence will come.... Talmud Torah, Take Two?

Via Bloghd in the name of Orthomom, evidence that the day school trend has peaked... and alternatives are being sought:
A group of Orthodox families, frustrated with the rising costs of tuition for a yeshiva education, has approached the Lawrence Public Schools about using district school buildings to educate their children.

Kenny Gluck and Jonathan Isler, both of Woodmere, have organized a Committee for Supplemental Yeshiva Programs, comprising Orthodox parents in the Five Towns, to test the feasibility of joining forces with the Lawrence schools. The parents said they are paying between $6,000 and $18,000 a year to educate a child in the yeshivas. They would pay about $1,500 to bring a religious instructor into the public schools after school hours to educate their children. The students would study with other public-school children during the regular school day and then receive their religious education after hours in the public-school building.

Gluck said the partnership would benefit the public schools as well, since many private-school parents have been complaining that they are paying high school taxes and not receiving their fair share of services from the school district. He added that the partnership may be the turning point in getting a school budget passed in Lawrence, since a District 15 budget has not been approved since 2002, forcing the district to work on contingency budgets.

Gluck said that school administrators have been approached and are extremely open to the idea. Gluck and Isler have been discussing the possibility for the past two years, they said.

"I think it's great," said Superintendent Dr. John Fitzsimons. "I would love to be filling up these classes."

I'd love to hear a quote from Bar Ilan's Menachem Friedman on this. It seems that the Modern Orthodox lifestyle and demographics may be no more sustainable than their Haredi cousins. TrackBack
Comments
#1

The mistake of the Lawrence parents is that they consider the content of yeshiva study to be its primary benefit. If that were true, very few yeshiva dayschools could have competed with the public schools. I know, I've taught in some of the least competitive Jewish dayschools.

The greatest value of yeshiva dayschools is in the connection they offer their students to religious Jewish society and to each child's own roots. The three r's are easy to get anywhere, including at home. But when you attend a public school, regardless of the extra hours you may spend in the afternoon with your Jewish Studies instructor, you are nevertheless on the public school tract.

Never mind the practically certain expectation that at some point some local person would invite the ACLU to sue on the grounds of separation of C & S.

So, I suspect that this venture is doomed to fail. But, hey, what do I know? I thought Gore won Florida...

Posted by: Yori yanover at July 1, 2005 6:54 AM
#2

This comes up from time to time in Teaneck. It always fails on logistical grounds.
On the other hand, parents sometimes resent paying the high tuition even when they are able, because they simply have n idea how much it costs to run a school, and refuse to acknowledge just how underpaid yeshiva Day School teachers are.

Posted by: Jordan at July 1, 2005 10:11 AM
#3

Yeshiva tuition is a basic cost of living, and these people are simply suffering the results of living beyond their means, in a community they cannot afford to live in.

Posted by: Daniel at August 12, 2005 3:06 PM
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