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Wednesday, February 07, 2007

Spitzer Proposes Aid to Yeshiva Parents

This week's Jewish Star has some interesting information regarding NY Governor Eliott Spitzer's 2007-2008 budget proposal:
Parents who send their children to yeshiva could save a few dollars on taxes, thanks to a short paragraph in Gov. Eliot Spitzer’s 2007-08 state budget proposal.

The proposal calls for a $1,000-per-child tax break for parents who send their children to private and parochial schools and whose yearly gross income is less than $116,000. Families whose gross income is between $116,000 and $125,000 still benefit. For every $1,000 above $116,000 in gross income, a family will simply save $100 less per child. For example, a family that sends three children to yeshiva and has a yearly gross income of $118,000 will be able to take a $2,400 deduction.

The deduction applies to parents of children in kindergarten through 12th grade. It is expected to cost the state about $25 million, the budget memorandum reported.

The Union of Orthodox Jewish Congregations of America supported Spitzer’s move. “That Jewish day schools are now getting a serious look from the governor can only be a good thing,” said Howard Beigelman, the UOJCA’s deputy director of public policy, in an e-mail. “Our community will benefit from Governor Spitzer’s attention to our children.”
This is very heartening, especially since in 2006, when asked about his position on tuition tax credits, then-Attorney General Spitzer seemed unsure about his position on them - he was against them before he was for them.

Well, it's a start.

19 Comments:

Anonymous Anonymous said...

Not to sound ungrateful, but this ignores the fact that ppl making well above $125K are also struggling to pay yeshiva tuition and that a $4000 tax-deduction off of a $50,000 tuition bill is not that much of a break.

8:04 PM  
Blogger orthomom said...

Anonymous said...

Not to sound ungrateful, but this ignores the fact that ppl making well above $125K are also struggling to pay yeshiva tuition and that a $4000 tax-deduction off of a $50,000 tuition bill is not that much of a break.


Like I said: It's a start.

8:08 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I think that things will get worse will this proposal. The Yeshivahs will simply raise tuition for everyone, so those who don't qualify for a tax break (face it--most people probably make more than 125K in NY) will take a hit.Those making less than 125K probably get tuition assistance from the school anyway, so now they'll get a tax-break too.

10:25 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

"The Sephardic Community Federation, a public policy foundation based in Brooklyn, has said that, with the deduction, eligible families would save between $60 and $80 per child annually on their state income tax returns."

Link here:

shttp://lohud.com/apps/pbcs.dll/article?AID=/20070207/NEWS03/702070378/1218

1:32 AM  
Blogger keithninety said...

Yes, it is a nice start, but it just applies a bandage to the larger problem: why yeshiva tuitions are so high and what, if anything, can be done about it?

I think the State Comptroller should be able to audit the books of South Shore, HALB, et al to find out exactly where the tuition cash is going. If the teachers aren't getting rich, who is? I sure hope it isn't the administration officials with the black hats and long beards. Wouldn't surprise me, though.

9:20 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

"I think the State Comptroller should be able to audit the books of South Shore, HALB, et al to find out exactly where the tuition cash is going. If the teachers aren't getting rich, who is? I sure hope it isn't the administration officials with the black hats and long beards. Wouldn't surprise me, though"


That is exactly the situation in a certain 5 Towns Yeshivah. You are paying for certain lifestyles of the hanhalah.

12:21 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

That's unfair. Most professionals get raises comensurate witht their experience and competence. Who said that those in Chinuch can't reap the rewards of years of service? Menahels and senior Rebbeim deserve to be well paid.

No, I'm not in Chinuch, and yes, I complain as much as anyone else about tuition, but there's gotta be a better way than begrudging our teachers and administrations.

12:37 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

How much do you think those teachers or rabbeim can be making already?

12:51 PM  
Anonymous storywatcher said...

Wow, 68 bucks per child back in my pocket!!
Yes, you're right, it's a start.
Maybe one day they'll quadruple it and I can get back $242 per child.
That will cover almost a full week of tuition!!

1:27 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Why not enroll your kids in the public schools? People always complain that they cannot afford tuition. It is the very people taking your money each month who tell you do not enroll. Now that is not very fiscally responsible.
I understand the want for religous education, but it seems clear the very people who are keeping some in the private schools are the ones recieving the tuition money. They are also the ones stirring the pot. I know people who are not able to afford yeshivot tuition and they are killing themselves to do so. How sad is that? It should not be that difficult. So what does some of this community do? Pick and Pick and stir and stir, till we have debates what is important for OUR CHILDREN, but at the end of the day this has very little to do with them, and more to do with the adults who spread lies, and don't communicate accurately.

3:55 PM  
Blogger Spirit_of_Lawrence said...

Why can't we all just accept that the primary underpinning of an Orthodox Jewish upbringing is a day school or yeshiva education.

It is indisputable that a yeshiva or day school education is the single most important factor in insuring jewish continuity. The fact that Orthodox parents spend enormous sums of their hard-earned money on yeshiva tuition is thus not surprising at all and commenters such as the one above who suggest that this commitment to jewish education is silly and little more than a product of social pressures, is ill-informed and disrespectful.

Let's respect and accept Orthodox religious conviction for what it is and stop using it as an excuse or rationalization for the waste, abuses and failures of the school district.

For those interested in reading more about the relationship between jewish education and jewish continuity:

http://www.peje.org/docs/KS-ExecutiveSummary.pdf

http://www.thearda.com/Archive/Files/Descriptions/DAYSCH.asp

http://www.jewishsf.com/content/2-0-/module/displaystory/story_id/13201/edition_id/255/format/html/displaystory.html

http://www.simpletoremember.com/vitals/WillYourGrandchildrenBeJews.htm

4:32 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Let's respect and accept Orthodox religious conviction for what it is and stop using it as an excuse or rationalization for the waste, abuses and failures of the school district.

I think you misunderstood, or did not read what the person wrote. The need for tradition is important, but I question at what cost? Should a family be bankrupt? Do you work for one of the local schools? There are ways to keep tradition. The open minded will find a way, by segregating we bring up a new point, "never will it happen again".

What does the school district have to do with yeshivot tuition? Why bring that up.

5:07 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

It doesn't really have anything to do with it. But the supporters of abuse and waste in the public schools like to say "but look at the yeshivas" every time someone criticizes the failures of the school district and then they like to say "instead of concerning yourselves with problem's of the school district, your concern should be focused on the fact that you pay so much money for private school tuition."

I too spend far more money than I can afford on yeshiva tuition for my kids, but I know that if I want my children to remain true to the Orthodox faith in our day and age, the tuition cost is a necessary evil. That being said, there are certainly issues that demand more attention with respect to yeshiva tuition, which more and more people have begun to focus on. But that discussion has absolutely nothing to do with the waste of taxpayer funds by the school district.

5:14 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Anonymous said...
How much do you think those teachers or rabbeim can be making already?

By the mere fact that they pay very little or no tuition they are ahead of quite a few accountants and lawyers out there.

5:45 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

too spend far more money than I can afford on yeshiva tuition for my kids, but I know that if I want my children to remain true to the Orthodox faith in our day and age, the tuition cost is a necessary evil.

I understand. Although my children are enrolled in the public schools I spend money on Hebrew School, although not nearly the money some spend on private school. It must be extremely frustrating that there are no answers to why the private schools cost so much. Books,Transportation,Special Education are covered by the various school districts the chldren come from. Blogs state teachers make hardly anything. So where does the money go? I am not saying that to be rude, I too am curious. These schools public,private,prep,parochial, they take our money,divide communities and yet do not want to account for any spending. It seems to me, we should switch from public vs private to community vs politicians.

7:58 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

When you consider the public school's expenditures, one can reason that the private school costs are very much under control.

But there's clearly plenty of belt-tightening that can be done in most private schools (and there's plenty more than can be done in our school district)

8:30 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

When you consider the public school's expenditures, one can reason that the private school costs are very much under control.


If you consider the true cost per pupil as per the New York state website 14,500, for actual expenditures to teach, 18,597.00, for everything with out busing, we are way under what most districts spend on Long Island.

7:50 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

If you consider the true cost per pupil as per the New York state website 14,500, for actual expenditures to teach, 18,597.00, for everything with out busing, we are way under what most districts spend on Long Island.

HOGWASH!!

If you prefer to go with the "actual expenditures to teach" numbers for District 15, then you should probably compare it to the same "actual expenditures to teach" number for other districts. AND IF YOU WERE HONEST ENOUGH TO DO THAT, you'd find that we spend far more than comparably performing districts, any way you slice it.

8:56 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

If you're having trouble paying tuition for private school, why should the taxpayers suffer?

READ "Public Money. Public Schools. Period! at The Community Alliance blog. http://thecommunityalliance.blogspot.com/2007/02/public-money-public-schools-period.html

By the way, I happen to send my kids to a yeshiva -- gasping at the annual tuition bill. I also pay school property taxes.

Truth is, objectively taken (without our emotional, "ours is the only way," we are preserving the species, mindset), these folks make some very valid points!

12:49 PM  

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