There is an unofficial unwritten rule in our yeshiva that you are supposed to tip the rebbes at Purim time. There has been no official guideline set out, and I never do it. Why? A) because I already pay tuition and B) they are getting paid a salary to teach my kid and C) because I do not have that kind of money to tip four rabbeim!! (I have heard of them getting in the hundreds from one parent.)
Last night a bunch of us were having a conversation on this subject, after a couple of people had received letters from their children’s yeshivot outlining the Chanukah tip suggestions. Rebbeim are supposed to get more than Morahs (male teachers vs female – don’t get me started) and some of the suggested tips went up to $360!!!
In this economy who has extra money? Private school tuition takes a huge chunk out of one’s salary, plus all the other extras you have to pay for – dinner, book fees, building fund, photocopying fee, get-you-every-which-way-we-can fee etc. How dare they send a letter saying you should tip the teachers??!!
I tip the superintendent in my building at Xmas time. He does a lot extra for me and I slip him a bill. He doesn’t expect it nor ask for it and it is MY choice whether to tip him or not. He will not treat me any differently whether I do or don’t.
The teachers – if you do not tip them, will they mark your child down? If you do tip, does s/he get higher grades? Does tipping only apply if they are doing a good job? We are all hurting financially in this economy – and I get that teachers are not paid that well in yeshivas – but who has extra money for this? Do the teachers count on this? Do they report the tips to the IRS? If one parent of every kid in a class of 24 gave a hundred dollars, that’s $2400 – a huge amount. Do the teachers count on this for parnassah?
Its bad enough the government always has their hands in our wallets, now the schools too?
For a more in your face take on this subject go visit DovBear and read what he has to say.