We don’t need no education

We don’t need no thought control…. ah, Pink Floyd! What? You were expecting Bon Jovi? Not this week, sorry!

This ringtone that lets me know the school’s calling, so I can brace myself for the lovely Nurse Robin to tell me that she has one of my kids in her office yet again. I’d be happy to hear that ring tone now.

Our kids do need an education still. They’re a bit young to be drop outs, especially on account of simply not knowing where to drop them off on the first morning of the new school year…

It’s been a while since I worked in the world of Big Corporate, but when I did, one of the important things was how far in advance you had to submit requests for vacation. There had to be people available to answer phones, and people available who could sign off on Big Corporate deals. When a Big Corporate is in some kind of financial crisis, I expect it becomes even more important for someone of authority to always be accessible.

Families have told me that they are in limbo, because they don’t have answers from the school, and until they do, they can’t make any decisions one way or another. Other families are in a state of confusion, as they have received multiple invoices, for different amounts, but no contract for this coming year. Trouble is, most of the administration is still on vacation.

The original purpose of my blog was to give myself a place to vent freely about everything and anything that was on my mind. Previous topics of discussion included rants about Cable Giants and English banks, keeping kosher on a budget and safe skincare. I blogged infrequently, and never had a very high readership. Back in June, when I first wrote about the crisis in our school, I forgot that my blog posts directly to Twitter and Facebook, and was kind of surprised when my phone started buzzing with texts. It was never my intention to turn this into Grand Central Station for the Jewish Educational Crisis in our community.  I was just venting my frustration at all the rumors I had heard (some true, some not). I wanted some proof that educating Jewish children is the priority at Hillel Day School, regardless of financial circumstances. I sought answers, as to why the school allowed for a situation to develop whereby at the end of the year 40 families owed in excess of $1 million. I hoped for a reasonable explanation as to why families were allowed to return to the school, year after year, with an outstanding balance.

There are 2 questions I have been asked this past week that I want to answer:

1. Do I regret starting this blog?
2. Why do I still want my kids to be at  Hillel this coming year?

1. No. I don’t regret it at all. I have learned so much this summer, about our community, the school system, the people who are in positions of authority within various communal institutions. I know who my real friends are, and who were masquerading as friends until I opened up and spoke the truth. I learned that money talks and that it doesn’t always pay to be honest. I learned that there are many, many ways to hide your true wealth in order to qualify for tuition assistance, and that there are people who take advantage of that. I don’t know who those people are, nor do I wish to find out, but if any of them are reading this, here’s what I think of you: You should be ashamed of yourselves. You are taking something that is not rightly yours. You are depriving another family of the privilege of having a yeshiva education.
I have no doubt I will continue to learn more as the year goes on.

2. My number one priority in all of this has always been my children. I may not  be happy with how the school handled certain things, but my children have all thrived at Hillel. They have all been showered with love and affection from their teachers. They have all learned and grown a tremendous amount. They are all very happy at Hillel, and have many friends there. I want my kids to be at Hillel this coming year because it is the best option for them.

With that, I wish  you all a Shabbat Shalom, and as we enter into the 9 Days, let’s hope all problems find their resolutions before Tisha B’Av.


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