Simcha Katz’s attack on charter schools (Oct. 28) is unwarranted and unfair. To be sure, most parents who are exploring a Hebrew-language charter school option would rather that their children go to a day school, but they just can’t do it financially. Better something than nothing, they say, and perhaps the model of early and comprehensive immersion in Hebrew language skills may turn out to be better than what we have now.
Katz is correct in wanting to limit the proliferation of day schools, but his idea is impractical. No one wants to cede power and control to anyone else – and especially not to people whose religious philosophies differ.
Katz also suggests that parents rethink their lifestyles. Does he really think the young parents who find themselves in this almost overwhelming tuition mess are not evaluating and re-evaluating their financial situation on an ongoing basis?
The most confounding suggestion, however, is that we allocate the greatest proportion of our charitable giving to local schools. Try telling that to the synagogues and the myriad organizations that constantly bombard our mailboxes and phones for money. Do we stop supporting Israel and its institutions and organizations?
Looking to government for financial relief is off the table in these days of record-high deficits.
Our leaders need to lead, and not rehash old and tired ideas. They need to exhibit creativity and courage. Almost two years ago, I proposed the idea that day school parents send their children to local public schools for the first four hours of each day and then bus them to the day schools of their choice for Torah study in the afternoon.
Who does not understand that the financial ramifications of this would be immense? Isn’t it at least worth a try? I have spoken to school superintendents who are excited about the possibiities. Where is the task force from our community to at least explore this option?