Voluntary Equitable Tuition (VET) is an opportunity for families to contribute to socio-economic diversity at Magnolia Montessori as well as an opportunity to practice equity, generosity and mutual aid, all central values of our school. We know that all children benefit from Montessori education, regardless of their families’ means.
Magnolia functions in the spirit of Dr. Montessori herself, whose work centered around serving society’s poorest children, from her first Casa dei Bambini in Rome in 1907 through her work in India during World War II. As a private school, Magnolia currently relies on tuition income as its main source of funding. Therefore, tuition assistance is critical to increasing and maintaining socio-economic diversity because it affords a discount to families who would otherwise be unable to pay the required tuition. VET is one way to provide tuition assistance, while giving families with more economic means the opportunity to meaningfully, materially contribute to our school’s principle of Equity.
We ask families to self-determine a monthly amount relative to your means, taking into consideration the value you place on a Magnolia Montessori education as well as your commitment to an equitable, diverse school. In short, the VET amount is meant to represent the difference between the minimum required tuition and the total value of a Magnolia Montessori education.
The VET amount each family chooses is:
considered a donation
tax-deductible (for those who itemize their taxes)
Why Not A Sliding Scale Tuition Schedule?
Having a minimum, required tuition from everyone guarantees minimum funds necessary for operating costs, including annual salaries and business and facilities expenses.
A sliding scale reduces every family to their income. We feel this is reductive, paternalistic, and overly-simplistic. It would also require families to submit their financial info to Magnolia Montessori, whereas VET is a private decision. Magnolia prefers a more Montessorian approach: placing trust in each family to know what is right for you to contribute.
We believe as Montessorians that if given the freedom to choose, human beings demonstrate far more generosity and support of each other than if they are forced to do something. This is a main reason we offer a VET model rather than sliding scale or simply fee-for-services.
VET is considered a donation for tax purposes, which is an added benefit not afforded by sliding scale.
How does VET work?
Each family is expected to pay a minimum tuition as a function of enrollment and matriculation. This amount is $9767 for 2019-20. Beyond that, we hope that you will commit to contributing any amount between $1 and $300 per month (more is okay, of course!) toward funding other tuitions. The donation amount will be auto-debited monthly from a bank or credit account of your choosing.
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