Dei'ah veDibur - Information & Insight

A Window into the Chareidi World

1 Kiselv 5767 - November 22, 2006 | Mordecai Plaut, director Published Weekly










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Shema Yisrael Torah Network
Shema Yisrael Torah Network











Busing for Beit Shemesh Special-Ed Students Resumed

By Betzalel Kahn

Following intervention by Betzedek, the Education Ministry required the City of Beit Shemesh to renew the busing program from chareidi special-education students attending schools in Jerusalem.

Shortly before the school year began, the Education Ministry's Executive Committee determined that a group of students from Beit Shemesh had to be enrolled in special education classes unavailable in Beit Shemesh. The cost of busing and tuition was supposed to be covered by the city where they live, using Education Ministry funds.

To save money, the Beit Shemesh Municipality tried to persuade principals at the city's chareidi schools to open special-ed classes. After the Municipality's efforts failed, the school year opened without a suitable study framework for those students, who were left with no alternative other than to stay at home. When parents contacted the Municipality, the Education Ministry and other public figures they were told that the Municipality was engaged in efforts to open suitable classes.

After two months of frustration the parents turned to Betzedek Chairman Atty. Rabbi Mordechai Green, who pursued various legal channels before filing a High Court petition. He filed a preliminary High Court petition against the Education Ministry Director and a preliminary district court petition in the event it was decided to file an administrative petition instead of a High Court petition. Meanwhile he sent a letter giving the Municipality and the Education Ministry three days to solve the problem.

In response the Municipality and Education Ministry officials proceeded describe various channels they were pursuing to no avail. When the deadline passed Betzedek prepared a detailed High Court petition and the parents signed declarations and other forms.

Just before the petition was filed, the Education Ministry Director instructed his staff to give the problem top priority. The Director of the department for recognized but unofficial education began to work on arrangements for busing and tuition costs herself, asking Betzedek not to file the petition in the meantime.

The legal pressure proved effective and within days the students were sitting in special-ed classes in Jerusalem busy at their studies.


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