Everyone's talking about the high cost of Jewish education in the United States. I confess I don't know much about the economics of Jewish schooling, but as a self-appointed Jewish blogger that shouldn't stop me from discussing it.
Reliable sources tell me of Jewish day schools charging $12,000 a student - for first grade! Try as I might, I can't understand how it can be so expensive to teach children.
A thought experiment: Imagine 25 families with first-graders. Say they hire a full-time teacher for a generous $50,000 a year. Add a teacher's aide at $25,000. Including benefits, payroll costs should be around $100K, or $4,000 per student. Add to that the cost of renting a classroom, books, crayons, photocopying and some administrative overhead. Oh, and a playground for recess. It would be hard to get to $6,000 a student, let alone $12,000.
What am I missing here? I admit I've never run a school, but I don't see where all that money can be going. State accreditation inspections? Chocolate milk? Mountain retreats for curriculum development?
It's no wonder more and more Orthodox families are homeschooling - or just having fewer children. It's either that or make aliyah, nebekh!