Wednesday, December 26, 2012

SAR Parents: Be Afraid

Word is, SAR is going to try a progressive tuition system where everyone making over $400K will be getting a tuition hike of 15% next year.  Everyone making under that amount will be entitled to a reduction in the amount of the increase.  This will allow them to avoid their typical 5% annual increase for the next several years.

The $400K crowd might be able to afford the increase, though with the expected new taxes for their income bracket, if they have 4 kids in SAR & SAR High it still won't be that easy.  But what bothers me more is making people in the 200K and 300K brackets go through the scholarship process, when they are in the top 2% of American earners. I image many of them are going to start looking at Westchester Torah  Academy.

I have no problem with multi-millionaires from Fieldston wanting a school with tons of bells & whistles (though I'm skeptical that any of them actually improve education).  They earned their money & have a right to spend it however they want.  They donate a lot of money & the clout they have from those donations force the school to focus on "academic excellence" rather than affordability.  My problem is that until now there was no other option for everyone else who just wanted a normal yeshiva education for their children that they could afford.

Personally, if I was a multi-millionaire from Fieldston I would be much more concerned about the future of Modern Orthodox Judaism in America than I would about maintaining the Blue Ribbon School Award of Excellence in my children's school. I would much rather donate to AJE than SAR.


  1. I know it is not customary for either the owner of this blog or those that choose to comment to actually take responsibility for what they write anonymously, so I hope it is ok with you that I identify myself. My name is Binyamin Krauss. I am the Principal of SAR academy. None of what is written above is true. There will not be a fifteen percent increase and one was never proposed. Our community strives to provide an excellent education. We believe that doing so requires funding and our costs are in line with the public school districts in our region. At the same time, we are a community school and have never turned away applicants who are unable to pay. We are blessed to be part of a community that recognizes the values of both education and tzedaka.
    We are struggling with the same affordability challenges as all schools are, and we don't have all the answers, we don't believe that there is a silver bulllet solution. We hope that initiatives related tob government funding, blended learning, and community endowments will all bear fruit, and we all have a responsibility to make sure that our programs are both efficient and excellent.

    I encourage the owner of this blog and those commenting to identify yourselves, and to choose check your facts. I am sure this would generate more serious conversation.

  2. Dear Rabbi Krauss,

    Thank you so much for commenting on this blog and setting the record straight. If I gave out wrong information than I sincerely apologize for that. I am certain that you never heard of such a proposal. However, since I did hear about it from a source that I consider to be very reliable, I ask that you speak to the board members, perhaps at the next board meeting and ask them if any of them ever floated such a proposal, either formally or informally. If you tell me that you asked and that none of them admitted to making such a suggestion then I will issue a full retraction.

    I appreciate the efforts you are making to try and keep tuition affordable and I encourage you to do more. I believe that, especially at SAR, there are programs that are not entirely essential to children's education that could be eliminated. I also think that the student-teacher ratio can be returned to the level it was in the eighties without having a particularly negative impact.

    I understand what you are saying about anonymity and I agree with you. However I have reasons for needing to remain anonymous that I can't really get into without revealing my identity. But I very much appreciate you revealing yours.

    Again thank you for participating in this discussion and I hope the rumor about the tuition hike proposal is false.

    Shabbat shalom,

  3. This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.

  4. Please remember that screen names are required for all posts and that the screen name can not be "guest" or "anonymous". This is necessary to avoid confusion since different users often use these same screen names.



Please choose a screen name. You will still be anonymous.

Note: Only a member of this blog may post a comment.