I applaud all those involved in developing the three-part solution to the tuition crisis (May 8).
Yet I wonder if more ideas could have surfaced, particularly regarding opportunities for cost savings. The Standing Committee should have volunteer accountants, business owners, and management consultants (even former teachers) who have knowledge and experience in identifying waste and streamlining processes. The makeup of the Committee raises questions about conflict of interest and proficiency in restructuring operations. Day-school principals are educators – they know education, and probably want to stay in control; rabbis from the Rabbinical Council of Bergen County are wonderful and I love them – but they are not operations analysts; and day-school lay leaders may have allegiance to or be influenced by the school administration. As a result, I suspect creativity in expense reduction was not maximized like the seeking of funding sources.
Consolidating purchasing power and pooling benefit plans are good ideas. However, greater reduction in administrative overhead needs to be explored. Do schools publish direct classroom costs vs. overhead? Among the factors some consider in evaluating charities is their cost efficiency; why not for schools? This data may be important to donors considering contributing to the Superfund.
Schools working together is real progress. The next step is fostering bold ideas (e.g., sharing resources, consolidations) and encouraging experimentation.