The recent article in The CJN entitled More Students Applying To Jewish High School in Toronto is an appropriate springboard for diving, fully confident of mission and means, into the New Year and the new decade.
The information contained in the article once again provides empirical proof of the proposition that level of enrolment in Jewish day school is directly tied to level of tuition.
The enrolment at TanenbaumCHAT has steadily increased since it implemented a revolutionary 5-year program in 2017 reducing tuition from almost $30,000, to under $20,000.
There are a number of heartening details in the article:
• The school’s enrolment next year is expected to be 1,060, compared with 1,015 this year.
• Some 85 per cent of children graduating from the community’s Jewish elementary schools will likely apply for admission to the school for the 2020-21. This figure compares with 57% three years ago.
• Some 350 students have applied for entry into its Grade 9 program for 2020-21. Of this number, 80 applicants are from non-Jewish elementary schools.
Jonathan Levy, CHAT’s head of school, made the very important point that tuition has undoubtedly brought more students into school but the students remain in the school because of the school’s positive academic environment and the excellence of the education it provides.
Levy justifiably “gave credit to the community, especially UJA Federation of Greater Toronto, for its strong and continued support for accessible Jewish education.”
Though the tuition at TanenbaumCHAT is now approximately two thirds the amount it was three years ago, it and the tuition at the feeder schools are still too high for many families, especially for multi-children families.
Community leaders are fully engaged in attempting to secure the future of our day schools. It falls to all of us however to play our part as well. As The CJN noted, “the school is working to secure more funding to keep tuition rates low, after the funding for the initial five-year subsidy runs out. That includes its announced tuition accessibility program, which includes maximum tuitions for the two succeeding years and lower costs for families with lower financial means.”
GAJE too has deployed to help make Jewish education more affordable. As we reported in this space, we will soon embark on an effort to have the courts re-assess and hopefully revise the 1996 Supreme Court decision that permitted the government of Ontario to adopt its unfair educational funding policies toward independent schools.
Let’s hope that the coming year will bring us closer to success.
The CJN article is available at: https://www.cjnews.com/news/canada/more-students-applying-to-jewish-high-school-in-toronto
Shabbat Shalom. Happy, healthy, successful New Year
GAJE, December 27, 2019