On January 12, 2014, close to 200 supporters of a new Islamic school in Howard County, Maryland helped raise $104,000 towards a campaign to open the school in September 2014.
In May 2012, Tarbiyah Academy announced plans to open as an International Baccalaureate (IB) school in September 2013. Their business plan showing the school needed at least $700,000 in initial capital, Tarbiyah Academy delayed the opening till September 2014.
The goal for the January 12 fundraising dinner, themed “Piecing Together the Puzzle”, was $150,000. Organizers said the event was “an excellent start for our campaign to raise funds.” Combined with about $75,000 raised over the last year, Tarbiyah is still at least $500,000 from its start-up goal. Board member Sarah Gowayed told supporters if $320,000 is not raised by this coming March 2014, the school will delay opening till the fall of 2015.
Board president Lailaa Jazouli said the new school is needed to provide “higher standards for academic excellence” in Islamic schooling. Jazouli also announced a “collaborative effort in the works to help raise ... future American-Muslim leaders and scholars” between the school and Zaytuna College in California. Colleen Keyes, the Vice President of Academic and Student Affairs at Zaytuna College, has been added to the Tarbiyah Academy Advisory Board, said Jazouli.
About 83 potential students are “ready to go and waiting to start” in grades K through 5, Sarah Gowayed told supporters. A power point presentation compared Tarbiyah Academy with other Islamic schools and showed a much higher tuition, about $9,500 per year compared to an average of around $6,000 per year for other schools. However, with discounts and financial aid, Tarbiyah projects the average tuition paid to be around $6,900 per year. Tarbiyah aims to offer teachers “market rate salaries and full health benefits.” Gowayed said many Muslim teachers are already trained and certified in the IB curriculum but are teaching at public and non-Muslim private schools and since Tarbiyah announced its program “resumes are pouring in.”
Hammad Hai opened the program with a recitation from Surah Luqman; Zaid Shakir and Siraj Wahaj served as the keynote speakers.