Arguments have been made that 1) Orthodox Jews under-educate their children and 2) they are therefore more dependent on government; costing tax payers billions. Both claims are misleading but for arguments sake we will work with it for a minute:
If all the 139,000 Private Jewish School students ages K through 12 in New York State were on Food Stamps in 2014, it would cost $227 million.
If all of them were on Medicaid (at an annual cost per child of $2,639 in NY according to the Kaiser foundation) it would cost $366 million.
If all of them received an average State tax refund of $416 per year it would cost $58 million.
If all of them lived in public/section-8 subsidized housing at a cost of $2,800 per student, it would cost $389 million.
Essentially, if every child in Private NY Jewish Schools were benefiting from Food Stamps, WIC, Medicaid, subsidized housing, and a hefty state tax refund for their parents, it would cost taxpayers $1 BILLION a year (much of it coming from the Federal Government).
NY State/Local taxpayers spend less than $1,500 per each student who attends private Jewish school while spending more than $19,500 per each public school student. This difference is $18,000 annually per student and an annual savings for NY State/Local taxpayers of $2.5 BILLION!
Let’s summarize the math:
$2.5 billion in savings by not enrolling in public school, minus $1.0 billion that those students cost social programs equals a net savings of $1.5 billion. Throw in another $100 million in cost for the Federally-funded Pell grants, State-sponsored TAP and NYC paid vouchers. This still leaves a savings of $1.4 billion.
This, as noted above, is just for arguments sake but solid majorities of those Private Jewish students do in fact receive a well-rounded secular education mostly paid for by the community itself, and the notion or math that every Jewish student benefits from every major government program was only used to illustrate the point.
In closing, the poverty rate in the public school educated African-American community is 27% according to Government data compared to the 43% in the Orthodox Community, as per a Jewish non-profit data. This tells us that even if everyone in the Orthodox Jewish Community received a public school-comparable education, there would still be a certain level of poverty and thus cost to Government regardless where and how Orthodox Jews are educated. Besides, agitators claim that the Orthodox Jewish Community is not really poor; they just defraud the social benefits system (thus spiking their poverty rate). This, that poverty in the OJ Community is lower than it appears, proves that the way Orthodox Jews raise and educate their families is perfectly fine and it saves taxpayers billions each and every year.
The mission of the Orthodox Jewish Public Affairs Council (OJPAC) is to counter the defamation and generalization of the Orthodox Jewish community. Please consider supporting our efforts by following us on Twitter/Facebook (@OJPAC); by sharing our content and by donating funds via our Donate Page. Your support is appreciated!