Enrollment in Jewish schools for grades kindergarten (full-day) through 12th rose a robust 28.1% in New York over the 10-year period ending with the current September 2020 school year. This figure is based on statistics that OJPAC pulled from the New York State Department of Education’s non-public school database.
Back in the 2010 school year, private schools in New York had 413,047 students grades Full-Day Kindergarten through 12th. Enrollment dropped by almost 8.8% to 376,908 students in the current, September 2020 school year. This net drop of 36,139 students occurred despite private Jewish Community schools adding 35,469 students during that span; rising from 126,113 students ten years ago to 162,582 students now. This change means that Jewish Schools went from having 30.5% of the state’s private enrollment a decade ago to 43.1% now.
The strongest percentage growth for Jewish Community school enrollment in New York took place in Rockland County with a 67.0% jump from 18,817 students enrolled ten years ago to 31,429 students now. This is followed by a 58.5% rise in Orange County which went from 9,100 to 14,428 students, and it is followed by Queens with a 32.4% rise; going from 9,199 students in the September 2010 school year to 12,185 K-12 students in the current year.
Some Jewish Community schools in Brooklyn shrunk in size over the past ten years as a result of a mass exodus to Rockland and Orange counties, as well as to New Jersey. Kings County, however, is still king in terms of overall enrollment, sitting at 85,177 K-12 students this year, up from 72,695 students ten years ago; a 17.2% rise.
On average, private Jewish school students in New York receive less than $1,300 annually in taxpayer funds, designated for items such as transportation and books for all students, and Special Ed for some students. For context, more than $23,000 is spent for each Public School student in New York. “This is an annual taxpayer saving of $21,700 per Yeshiva student and a staggering $3.52 billion savings annually when multiplied by the amount of students who attend private Jewish Community schools,” commented OJPAC Executive Director Yossi Gestetner.