From 1949 to 1968, the Budget and Finance Committee was the standing committee responsible for financial matters of the board and affiliated schools. The committee's work involved reviewing the budgets of affiliated schools on an ongoing basis, calculating the subsidies to be granted to schools, and also developing the budget for the BJE itself. Following the reorganization of the bureau as the Board of Jewish Education, in 1968, the Fiscal Committee was one of two permanent committees of the board. The functions of the committee include receiving school budgets and reviewing them as a check on the spending of subsidized schools, negotiating teachers' contracts with teachers' unions, reviewing areas for possible savings for schools, establishing tuition fee assessment guidelines and determining the actual tuition levied in all subsidized schools, regulating and enforcing a uniform salary scale for teachers in subsidized schools, and periodically recommending policies to the BJE board on fiscal management.
The formulae used to determine school subsidies have changed several times over the decades, as the Fiscal Committee sought to balance the financial needs of the schools against the ever-increasing costs to the UJWF and its successors of supporting the school system. Initially, subsidies were simply calculated based on the gap between a school's budget and the money raised by the school through tuition fees and other forms of fundraising. In the late 1950s, the BJE attempted to cut costs by eliminating building maintenance from the budget items eligible for subsidization, but this resulted in many schools developing large deficits by the early- to mid-1960s. This, in turn, led to special fundraising programs sponsored by the UJWF to assist the schools in eliminating those deficits. In the 1970s, following the recommendations of the UJWF Study Committee on Jewish Education, efforts were made to develop a funding formula based on budget models for different categories of schools. Since the schools and BJE were unable to reach a consensus on these models, the actual school budgets of 1977-1978 were used as a base for calculating future budgets, with changes calculated based on the rate of inflation, changes in enrollment and school staffing, and other factors. Budgets submitted by the schools were assessed against these calculations. Further changes to the formulae were made in the 1980s and 1990s, with a shift towards calculating the grants to schools as tuition subsidies in support of families unable to pay the full cost of their children's education, with full tuition calculated as the per capita cost of the school's operations.
Scope and Content
The sub-series documents the work of the Fiscal Committee in reviewing school budgets and working with the schools on new funding formulae. The sub-series includes meeting minutes and reports of both the Fiscal Committee and its predecessor, the Budget and Finance Committee, correspondence with schools and memoranda. The sub-series also includes records of the "Fiscal Forums", organized by the Fiscal Committee in the early 1990s to work with affiliated schools to address funding reductions caused by shortfalls in the annual UJA fundraising campaigns, and of the Mandate Sub-Committee, formed in 1997 to evaluate new school funding models, including school voucher and tuition loan systems.