TORONTO — With inflation in Canada running at a 56-year low of less than one per cent, parents at Toronto’s major Jewish day schools are facing tuition fee increases this fall of up to seven per cent for elementary grades.
Tuition at Leo Baeck Day School for this year is up seven per cent over last year, at $11,550 for full-day junior kindergarten to Grade 8, and $5,775 for half-day nursery and junior kindergarten.
Head of school Eric Petersiel said that “the seven per cent increase unfortunately [is] almost entirely spent to cover the significant increase in existing families who now qualify for financial assistance according to UJA Federation [of Greater Toronto] guidelines,” because federation only funds part of tuition subsidies, with tuition fees covering the rest.
Petersiel added that the fee increases will also cover “some extra funding for staff professional development, as we apply for International Baccalaureate authorization this year.”
At the Anne and Max Tanenbaum Community Hebrew Academy of Toronto, the city’s largest Jewish high school, tuition has increased by four per cent, from $18,200 to $18,900.
“The school went to great lengths to keep tuition fees to an absolute minimum [and] is very sensitive to the changing status of our economy,” said director of education Paul Shaviv.
“The school will cut the budget for a deficit. We try to break even each year, which is why we keep tuition fees at a minimum.”
All grades at Bialik Hebrew Day School, excluding half days, will see a three per cent fee increase this year, to $11,925, up from $11,625 last year.
Half-day nursery and junior kindergarten at Associated Hebrew Day Schools climbed from $5,250 to $5,550, while full days rose from $10,250 to $10,950, a six and seven per cent increase, respectively.
Full-day senior kindergarten saw a eight per cent increase from last year, $11,200 from $10,400, while half days are now $5,725, up from $5,325, also an increase of eight per cent.
For grades 1 through 6, tuition rose from $11,150 to $11,950, an increase of seven per cent.
Grades 7 and 8 cost $11,400 last year, but this year climbed to $12,200, a seven per cent increase.
At Netivot HaTorah Day School, fees have remained the same as last year from nursery to senior kindergarten. Nursery is $3,125, while the extended nursery program remains at $5,633, full-day nursery is $8,140, half-day junior kindergarten remains is $5,570 and half-day senior kindergarten costs $5,710.
Grades 1 through 6 saw a two per cent increase, from $11,950 to $12,190, while grades 7 and 8 also increased two per cent, from $12,150 to $12,390.
At United Synagogue Day School, half-day junior and senior kindergarten costs $6,000 this year, up from $5,750, an increase of four per cent, while tuition for full-day senior kindergarten increased three per cent, from $11,500 to $11,900. (Tuition for USDS’ full-day junior kindergarten, which launches this year, is the same as senior kindergarten.)
Costs for Grade 1 increased five per cent from last year, to $12,750 from $12,150 the previous year. Grades 2 to 5 increased by four per cent, from $12,400 to $12,900, while grades 6 to 8 increased five per cent, to $13,100 from $12,500.
At the Toronto Heschel School, fees have been frozen for the coming school year. Half-day junior kindergarten costs $5,800, while full-day is $10,800. Kindergarten is $13,900, while grades 1 to 3 cost $14,600, grades 4 to 5 cost $14,800 and grades 6 to 8 cost $15,100.
Calls to Eitz Chaim Day Schools weren’t returned by The CJN’s deadline.
Tuition at the Bnei Akiva high schools, Yeshivat Or Chaim and Ulpanat Orot, rose from $18,000 to $18,750, an increase of four per cent.
“We always watch our budget and we always watch what we spend,” said Jay Shiel, the schools’ director of operations.
“We want to treat our teachers fairly while also balancing our budget. We always try to find the best cost for office supplies, and we try to be fair to our teachers, but we also try to be fair to parents as well.”
Tuition fees for at least two non-Jewish private schools are substantially higher than at their Jewish counterparts.
The cost for Branksome Hall girls school this year, from junior kindergarten to Grade 10, is $24,530, compared to $23,610, a four per cent increase over last year. Grades 11 and 12 cost $26,530 this year, versus $25,310 the year before, a five per cent increase. There’s also an initial registration fee of $5,000 for new students ($3,000 if a sister is already enrolled at Branksome, or will be enrolled by next fall).
Tuition fees for junior and senior kindergarten at the York School rose to $18,900, up from $18,100 last year, an increase of four per cent, while fees for grades 1 to 12 climbed from $21,700 to $22,700, an increase of five per cent. There’s also a additional one-time registration fee of $4,000 for new students.