Four New Jersey day schools to cap tuition for a decade

Jewish-Telegraphic-Agency-logo.png(JTA) — Four northern New Jersey Jewish day schools are promising to cap tuition for middle-income families for 10 years.

A $10 million grant from the Gottesman Foundation will offset the cost of keeping tuition flat at Golda Och Academy, the Gottesman RTW Academy, the Jewish Educational Center and the Joseph Kushner Hebrew Academy/Rae Kushner Yeshiva High School, the New Jersey Jewish News reported.

Each of the four schools has agreed to limit total tuition expenditures to 18 percent or less of a family’s adjusted gross income, regardless of the number of children in the family. The program aims to help middle-income families who may be reluctant to apply for or do not qualify for traditional financial aid.

Scholarships for lower-income families will remain in place at the four schools.

According to the newspaper, that area of New Jersey is among the first nationwide to guarantee tuition breaks across a community in a coordinated effort to make day schools more affordable.

The $10 million grant from the Paula and Jerry Gottesman Family Supporting Foundation of the Jewish Community Foundation of Greater MetroWest NJ will also pay for incentives to attract new families, professional development for teachers and an effort to market the region to prospective day school families.

In an interview that appeared last winter in Hayidion, the journal of RAVSAK, the community day school umbrella organization, Paula Gottesman urged a communal response to high tuition costs.

“Just as people pay taxes for public schools — and no one would say we shouldn’t do that — the Jewish community should tax itself for the education of our children,” she said. “Our collective future should be the responsibility of the collective community.”