The Obligation of Parents for their Children’s Education

  1. And I will punish all that oppress them.” Even those responsible
    for collecting charity will be punished for forcing contributions from the
    poor, except for the payment of school fees so that their children can learn
    Torah and Mishnah. (Midrash Rabbah, Parshas Emor 30)

  2. A person is obligated to hire a teacher to teach his son Torah. If he does
    not, the court can compel him to do so.  If he is not in the city, his
    property can be appropriated to cover the cost.  If a person is so poor
    that he is unable to pay school fees, the rabbis require the community to bear
    the cost of teaching his children.

  3. Many do not realize the importance of paying school fees, and, after
    spending money on other things, claim that they lack the means to pay. Paying
    for the Torah education of a son should have the highest priority, for a
    father is obligated by the Torah to teach his son Torah. If he is unable to
    teach his son himself, he can fulfill his obligation by paying a teacher. When
    the teacher whom a father hires instructs his son, it is as though he were
    instructing his son himself. A father that does not pay the school fee
    nullifies this positive commandment of the Torah. His son is being educated by
    others, not by him.

  4. When school fees are paid on time, the father fulfils the positive
    commandment of “pay him his due on its day,” for then the principal of the
    school can pay his teachers on time. This also benefits the students, for when
    the teachers are paid on time, and their financial affairs are in order, they
    are more at ease and better able to teach.

  5. “A person’s income for the year is fixed on Rosh Hashanah except for fees
    paid to teach his sons Torah. If they are diminished, his income is
    diminished. If they are increased, his income is increased.” (Betizah 16a)

  6. In many seforim it is written that when a father pays his school fees on
    time, it is a sign that his son will be a talmid chacham and yarei
    Shamaim.
  7. If a father fails to pay the school fee to teach his son Torah, the
    teacher must nevertheless continue to teach his son.

  8. Even if a teacher is not paid on time, it is forbidden for him to arrive
    late to school or to neglect his teaching is any way.