As Economy Tanks, Schools Seek Survival Tactics

January 28, 2009

Source: The Jewish Journal


Kadima Hebrew Academy, a conservative day school in the LA area, recently announced lower tuition rates for the 2009-2010 school year. Through a partnership of parents and donors subsidizing the cut, yearly costs for students in grades K-8 would be reduced between 19 and 22 percent. This step was taken to meet a threatened enrollment decline as a result of the financial meltdown affecting many Jewish families. The school administration is hoping that the tuition cut would help to stem student attrition.


Many parents of Jewish day school students across the country are finding it very difficult to continue to shoulder the high tuition costs and are considering transferring their children to public schools. Some of these parents are considering providing their children with some continuing Jewish education at Jewish congregational schools. (The New Jersey Jewish Standard)


Day school enrollment is also being negatively affected by demographic factors. Nationally, the incoming middle school age group this fall will be the smallest in about a decade. Birth rates fell from 1990 to 1997, when post-WWII baby boomers grew too old to have children, according to demographers. High schools will feel the effects of this “baby bust” for the next six years.


Among other steps suggested by day school administrations are: trimming the fat in school budgets and building communal funds to support Jewish schools regionally. School boards are searching for creative means to support parents by funding tuition so schools can continue to grow.

Updated: Feb. 11, 2009