As a parent of a child at one of the local day schools, I always read with interest the stories you run in regard to the day-school tuition issue. In the July 2 issue, you refer to a blog run by someone who calls himself a “200k a year chump,” or something to that effect. I decided to check out the blog and was immediately reminded of the judgmental, nouveau riche, hateful, and decidedly non-Jewish attitudes that I see on a regular basis at my child’s school.
I work with some of the very Puerto Ricans in the very South Bronx that Mr. 200k and his crew deride in their blog, and I say forthrightly that I know people named Rodriguez and Morales who have more class and humility than a good number of Bergen County Jewish day-school families I know.
Yes, we receive tuition assistance. No, I will not pick up a mop at our child’s school and “earn” our scholarship award, as Mr. 200k suggests in one of his recent posts. I assure you that my wife and I work quite hard enough at our day jobs for a combined 100+ hours per week including commuting, and that all of the financial information we submit to our school’s tuition assistance committee is 100 percent truthful. His arrogance and derision of those of us in a lower-income bracket than his is not only mean-spirited and counter-productive, but it tends to prove some negative anti-Semitic stereotypes as well.
A reality check: Our low six-figure income still puts us in the top 15 percent or so of all U.S. households. And even with our tuition assistance, the five-figure tuition we are paying amounts to what was only a few years ago the full-price tuition at our child’s school. That is, before the smart boards, Mandarin Chinese lessons, and all the other “extras,” which my child, as far as Mr. 200k and his group are concerned, can do without. On this point, I admit I tend to agree.
My mother, an elementary school teacher for a number of years, had a saying – “A smart child can learn anywhere.” The multi-million-dollar athletic fields aren’t as important to me as keeping my child in a learning environment where our culture and religion are celebrated.