Wednesday, July 15, 2009

Hope springs eternal, but will reality follow?

Many teachers in UO and Chereidi schools have not received their pay for months. Parents who in the past have refinanced their homes, maxed out their credit cards, and cajoled every grant and scholarship they could out of the system have simply reached the end of their ability to beg and borrow their way toward paying tuition. The middle class parents are staggering under the weight of having to pay not just the cost of their own children's education, but a 15-20% surcharge for all the "scholarships" the schools are having to give out to under or unemployed households. Some schools have recently been foreclosed by angry banks or other creditors, and there's no end in sight to the current economic crisis.

So how can schools be made more affordable? Well, the great solution being proposed by this group is to squeeze more charitable donations out of more rich people. They neglect to mention where we might find more "rich" people.

Jerusalem Post Online
Jul 14, 2009 21:45 | Updated Jul 15, 2009 19:30
Better management could net US day schools $100m a year

Jewish day schools in the US could generate $100 million annually through better financial management, a new study has found...

...Only a third thought that board members gave their schools their top personal philanthropic gifts or generated financial support for school events.

"If we just grasp that opportunity in of itself, we can make a huge turnaround," said Harry Bloom, the study's author and the director of planning and performance improvement at the institute.

Apparently somebody forgot to tell the authors of this study that poor and middle class people can also serve on school boards.

...Dr. Scott Goldberg, director of the institute, said that while schools must find ways to cut spending, the schools' quality can be maintained, "by maximizing fund-raising and strategic financial planning."

Well, of course! How silly of us! The schools didn't get millions more in donations because they didn't PLAN to receive millions more in donations. Wait, what?

Ummm...where is this money supposed to come from, exactly, and how will PLANNING to receive it make it magically appear? I'm a little confused on that point.

..."At a time when the economics of day school education have hit the crisis stage, it is incumbent upon the board members to serve as leaders both in planning as well as fund-raising and their own personal giving," said Michelle Friedman, board president of the Ida Crown Jewish Academy in Chicago, which has been working with the institute.

So, the great plan is to - wait for it - squeeze people harder who've already lost half their retirement, half their investment income, and either lost numerous customers, had their work hours cut back or even lost their jobs. That's the ticket, right?

Hello? Anybody home? Is this their great solution? Really? Isn't this just another version of the "money will fall from the sky" theory of financial planning?

(And did you catch the lip-service about "cutting expenses?" It's clear from the tone that they don't actually have any PLAN to do this, they just threw that in their report because some fiscally competent person would gripe if they didn't.)

Wow, I'm inspired with confidence! (NOT)

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