HYMAN BRAND HEBREW ACADEMY (K–12)
Overland Park, Kan.
Enrollment: 242 students
Percent on financial aid: 50%
The Forward recently published an article about a Day School in Kansas City that drastically cut costs to maintain its enrollment.
I disagree with the article that Day Schools are in decline. Maybe that's true in Kansas City or among the Solomon Schechter schools but the Orthodox day schools here in Bergen County are bursting at the seams despite the constant addition of new schools. Anyway the part I found interesting was this:
To cover the shortfall, the school reached out to families that could afford it and asked them to donate the difference between the old tuition and the new one. And since the donation would be tax deductible, the school asked the families to tack on the money they would have been paying in tax on that gift.
It seems to be working. According to Kaseff, about 40% of the families donated at least $10,000 per student on top of tuition. Private donors from the community helped make up the difference, giving $40,000 in the first year of the program.
So maybe there is hope after all that some people are willing to give more than the minimum required to enroll their own kids to help others and to move some of the costs to pre-tax dollars. See my earlier post Are WE the problem? where I was cynical about that working. Maybe I was too cynical. Or maybe the Jews in Kansas City have a better sense of communal responsibility than we do.