Sunday, February 10, 2013

SAR Tuition Remains Flat

SAR has finally decided to join the BC schools in freezing tuition.  This is the first time this is happening and it is happening coincidentally the same year an affordable day school is opening up in Westchester.

Glad to hear that the "progressive" tuition increase I heard about is not happening.

Dear Parents,

We are delighted to let you know that the 2013-14 Budget was approved by the Board of Trustees earlier this week.  After careful analysis and review of expected revenues and expenses, the tuition at the Academy will remain flat (0% increase) and the High School tuition will increase by $400 (a 1.3% increase).

The process of budgeting is always a challenge and we thank the Finance Committee for the substantial time and effort they put into compiling an optimal budget for our school.  The budgeting process is a balancing exercise- seeking to ensure the high quality education which SAR is known for while at the same time remaining responsive to the financial needs of our parents.

The key components of next year’s budget include:
  1. A 2% increase in staff salaries.  SAR’s mandate is to provide a high quality education in secular and Judaic studies in an environment that elicits the best from each child.  The heart of our school is our dedicated teachers who engage our students and bring the SAR education to life. 
  2. A $400,000 reduction in other expenses, including the elimination of the teacher child care program.
  3. An increase of $250,000 from annual fundraising.  With the Bendheim Challenge Grant having come to a close, we are hopeful that families who made commitments for capital will now turn their efforts to increased annual gifts to support SAR.
  4. An on-going commitment to funding the scholarship needs of our new and existing families.  For 2013-14 we have budgeted $6.1 million dollars of scholarship assistance up from approximately $3.5 million budgeted five years ago.  This level is approximately flat with last year.
We remain encouraged by the longer term outlook for increased government funding for day schools, either through tax credit or through increases in reimbursements through mandates. SAR is actively involved in leading an effort through TeachNYS to lobby for increased government funding for all private schools.  

We will continue to explore longer term opportunities for cost savings and revenue enhancements so long as they do not compromise our core values—a high quality secular and Jewish education, inclusivity of ALL children, regardless of educational or financial needs and the fair treatment of our extraordinary teachers and staff.

Wishing you a Shabbat Shalom and enjoyable February break.

Jack Bendheim
Rabbi Tully Harcsztark
Rabbi Binyamin Krauss