TLS recently reported on Yesodos Bais Yaakov high school that announced its permanent closure following this school year. The school had previously announced that it would not be opening this year due to a lack of funds, but after intervention by askanim, enough funds were raised to keep the school afloat for one more year.
The story of this high school, and many others struggling to stay financially viable, got me thinking about ways to ensure that our daughter’s education would never come under threat due to financial troubles. After some thought, I now believe that the simplest, most straightforward way to go about this is to stop sending our children to seminary. I know that even touching upon this concept might upset some people, but before heading to the comments section, hear me out.
Right now, parents have to take into account paying for at least three, and sometimes four, levels of education for their daughters. They must pay for elementary school, high school, seminary, and possibly a college education as well. Of those tuition commitments, the most expensive one is a seminary education, especially if the seminary the girl attends is located in Israel, with tuition and expenses usually topping $25,000.
With the prevalence of attending seminaries in Israel, parents have to already begin preparing to pay for that year in seminary when their daughter is still in high school. That means that there is less money for them to pay their daughter’s high school tuition bill. Add up hundreds of parents being unable to pay a full high school tuition bill so that they can pay for seminary, and the cause of the cash crunch faced by numerous high schools becomes pretty obvious.
One might argue that even if this is correct, they wouldn’t want to give up a seminary education because they believe that the lessons imparted to the girls are invaluable. I think that assertion is highly debatable, but even if it is, we can still do without them. I can guarantee you that if parents paid full tuition high schools would be able to harness the resources necessary to give a girl a full seminary education before they graduate from 12th grade.
The bottom line is, we need to provide our schools with the funding they need to give our children a well-rounded education without fear of them closing down because they simply can’t pay the staff. Adding an extra year of unnecessary education that could better be spent by a girl earning some money to set herself up for marriage is silly and should be discontinued.