It is essential that schools look for significant ways to avoid failures of the past, which namely boil down to … finances. For years, we have given away money we have not had, forgiven tuition debts, undercharged, under-filled classrooms, over-filled classrooms, offered discounts for anything, and basically under-priced ourselves in hopes of attracting and maintaining enrollment.
Christian schools are looking for leadership that is biblical, professional, full of integrity, and focused on bringing potential change and vigor to stagnant missions and stalling enrollments. The challenge is great. Key leaders are not located around every corner, and schools are faced with a great dilemma … “who is to lead the school forward”.
The Free Dictionary of Idioms defines the phrase, throwing good money after bad as “to waste additional money after wasting it once,” or “to spend more and more money on something that has already failed.”
Most Christian schools lose families when they raise tuition. They may not drop in enrollment, but they lose lower & middle-income families and gain higher income families. Why? Inadequate tuition aid. If your school is like most schools, you give away a lot of money – mostly to families with multiple children enrolled, or families who are employed at the school, or to pastor’s families. Tuition aid should be granted only for families who have demonstrated an actual need. How can this best be understood?
For some of us, when it is time for our annual discussion, “should we raise our tuition,” the discussion may look more like an argument, particularly if the discussion takes the form of, “I do not feel as if parents can afford what we are charging now.” The discussion may also include, “we have to keep our prices low enough so that everyone can afford a Christian education.” An even more suicidal approach may be, “can we find out what the average tuition is in our community and charge a little less?”