AFTER a series of community consultations earlier this year in response to a disturbing report that found Jewish education is at “a point of crisis”, one solution was reported as clearly standing out.
Following the 2021 report which predicted that over the next 20 years, “the population of Jewish school-aged children in Victoria will decline by almost 25% – 2000 pupils”, with tuition expected to reach $45,000. by 2025 and up to $52,000 by 2030 for year 12, Victoria Jewish Schools Project organizer Alan Schwartz reported that the proposal to establish an independent fee assessment committee is the main candidate.
Although all options in the discussion paper remain “on the table,” Schwartz told AJN that he and his team would undertake further work for the fee assessment committee, which would provide an alternative path for parents. public schools who want their children to attend a Jewish school.
The model currently under consideration for assessing parents’ ability to afford the costs will take into account the cost of living for a Jewish household, based on family size and using averages, so parents will not be held provide details of their personal expenses.
“By filling existing vacancies in Jewish schools, we can provide hundreds more children with a Jewish day school education, increase school revenues and reduce fees for all,” Schwartz said, adding that his team will continue to work with stakeholders to find the best solution.
The task force also shared some key ideas and guiding principles that it plans to use to find a solution.
These include the document that focuses too much on Jewish schools and not enough on general Jewish education, including the role of UJEB in providing Jewish education to approximately 600 children in public schools, and that parents should contribute equitably to the payment of the costs according to their personal circumstances. financial situation.
The community also urged that no parent be pushed into relative poverty to pay school fees, and that parents have the right to retain discretionary funding and savings for non-tuition related expenses.
More than 1,400 people have joined the Jewish Schools Group’s Facebook group and about 230 people have expressed interest on the website. Over 1,000 people participated in various community forums and over 400 people completed the Monash survey.
Monash University’s community consultation is expected to wrap up in March, and an interim report will be released by July 31.
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