The telling relationship: lower tuition, higher enrollment

Readers know that GAJE follows day school “affordability” initiatives in other North American communities. One of the initiatives on which we have written from time to time is the Open Door program at San Diego Jewish Academy (SDJA). An update of the program appeared last week in Del Mar Times.

Open Door is aimed at attracting more children to the school by “removing cost as a barrier for a world-class private school education.” According to the story in the paper, the program reduces tuition “by at least $10,000 at San Diego Jewish Academy for kindergarten and 9th grade, and maintains that reduction for those students for four years.

“Now more than ever, we are so happy to provide this certainty in uncertain times,” said Zvi Weiss, Head of School at SDJA. “Families who may have felt a private school was out of reach can join SDJA and know what the next four years will look like for them with a high-quality education and meaningful community experiences…”

GAJE followers will immediately recognize the similarity of the Open Door program at SDJA to the revolutionary tuition reduction initiative by CHAT in our own community some three years ago. As a result of the CHAT initiative, enrollment skyrocketed there.

The key conclusion for our purposes from the SDJA experience and more poignantly from the CHAT experience in our own community is that there is a direct inverse correlation between tuition costs and enrollment levels. As tuition is lowered, enrollment rises. It is an indisputably telling relationship.

The story about SDJA in the Del Mar Times is available at: https://www.delmartimes.net/lifestyle/events/story/2020-11-13/san-diego-jewish-academy-continues-tuition-affordability-program-for-2021-2022-academic-year.

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In further elaboration to the reference in last week’s update regarding provisions in the most recent Ontario budget pertaining to Jewish day schools, Noah Shack, Vice President, GTA, The Centre for Israel and Jewish Affairs (CIJA) provided the following information:

“The Support for Learners initiative announced in the 2020 Ontario Budget will deliver important financial relief to parents with children enrolled in Jewish day schools. This program builds on the Support for Families grant provided by the provincial government toward the beginning of the pandemic. Combined, these two grants will provide $400 per child or $500 per child with disabilities directly to parents. CIJA advocated for the inclusion of day school families in the initial grant, and lobbied for further payments to address the prolonged challenges facing parents due to COVID-19.

“In addition, CIJA successfully lobbied the federal government to open up the Canada Emergency Wage Subsidy program to Jewish day schools. This subsidy, which the government has committed to extend through to June 2021, provides significant government relief to Jewish day schools, which public educational institutions cannot access.”

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Be safe. Stay safe. Be well. Stay well. Be strong. Stay strong.

Shabbat shalom.

GAJE

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