Michael Boyden

Equal Funding for Charedi Schools

Yoav Kish, has announced that his top priority in his new post as Education Minister is to ensure that charedi schoolchildren receive equal funding. As he put it: “Every child deserves an equal opportunity”.

As things stand, charedi educational frameworks apparently receive only 81 percent of the funding granted to religious and secular state schools.

Kish attended the Engineering High School in Tel Aviv, holds a second degree from the INSEAD Business School in Fontainebleau and served as an F-16 fighter pilot in the IDF. He knows all too well how important it is to receive a good education.

However, when he talks about giving charedi children “an equal opportunity”, that is not what he really means. He is talking money!

As he knows only too well, most charedi educational institutions refuse to integrate the Ministry of Education’s core syllabus into their program. Their children generally do not learn Mathematics or English, and the education that they do receive ill prepares them to take their place in the world, make a living and contribute gainfully to Israeli society, never mind serve in the IDF.

Kish knows that giving their institutions more funding is not going to give them an equal opportunity. What he is interested in is keeping his charedi coalition partners happy.

The average primary class in Israel has over 26 pupils, while the average secondary class has more than 22 pupils. Our classrooms are the most crowded in Western countries, and have five more pupils than the OECD average.

If the Ministry of Education has money to hand out, the first thing it should do is to reduce the size of our classes.

About the Author
Made aliyah from the UK in 1985, am a former president of the Israel Council of Reform Rabbis and am currently rabbi of Kehilat Yonatan in Hod Hasharon, Israel.
Related Topics
Related Posts