An agreement has been reached between the Israeli Ministry of Education and the country’s Christian schools to end the student and teacher strike
The Episcopal Church in Jerusalem and the Middle East reports an agreement has been reached between the Israeli Ministry of Education and the country’s Christian schools to end the student and teacher strike that has shuttered the country’s 47 Christian schools. On 28 Sept 2015 33,000 students returned to school after negotiators hammered out an agreement whereby the state would contribute 50 million shekels toward education costs for the first quarter of the new academic year. All other outstanding issues would be addressed by negotiators in the weeks ahead. sources report. On 1 Sept 2015 students and teachers of went on strike after the government cut educational subsidies while also imposing a tuition cap. Christian schools, which serve the Arab Christian minority, are “recognized but unofficial” under Israeli law. They had been receiving government grants to cover 75 per cent of their costs but the current government budget has reduced the subsidy to to 29 per cent. The funding cut was accompanied by a cap on school fees, leaving most schools unable to meet their costs. Christian leaders note that ultra-Orthodox Jewish schools are also classified as “recognized but unofficial” yet receive 100 per cent funding from the government. The agreement signed this week to get students back into classes covers the immediate shortfall in funding.