Dei'ah veDibur - Information & Insight

A Window into the Chareidi World

25 Teves 5766 - January 25, 2006 | Mordecai Plaut, director Published Weekly










Produced and housed by
Shema Yisrael Torah Network
Shema Yisrael Torah Network











Reduction in Number of Local Authorities Refusing to Pay Tuition for Chinuch Atzmai Students

by Betzalel Kahn

Following concerted efforts by Betzedek, the list of local authorities that are paying tuition for students enrolled at Chinuch Atzmai schools is growing from day to day.

Most local authorities where Chinuch Atzmai schooling is unavailable refused to pay the tuition for students within their jurisdiction who chose to attend Chinuch Atzmai institutions in other locations, letting the full cost fall on parents' shoulders.

MK Rabbi Moshe Gafni worked to remedy the situation through legislative channels and in the 5763 school year an amendment to the Mandatory Education Law took effect, requiring local authorities to pay for their students' tuition, including primary school students at Chinuch Atzmai schools and all "recognized but unofficial" upper schools. The law became known as "the Gafni Law."

The City of Kiryat Gat stood out for its refusal to pay tuition for residents electing to attend Chinuch Atzmai institutions, agreeing to abide by the law only after Betzedek filed an administrative petition with a court in Haifa. When the petition gained publicity, several schools around the country contacted Betzedek to point out other local authorities in violation of the law.

Betzedek Director Atty. Mordechai Green informed the local authority heads of the gravity of their failure to pay the tuition fees, emphasizing the importance of allowing parents to enroll their children at Chinuch Atzmai institutions and explaining that on several occasions the High Court has spoken in favor of fostering private education as well.

If Betzedek is forced to file a petition against a local authority it intends to demand payment to compensate the students' parents for the failure to carry out the law and to demand the head of the local authority pay the trial costs using his private funds.

The letters Atty. Green sent to local authorities spurred a flurry of replies. The Cities of Tiveria, Natzrat Illit and Migdal Ha'emek sent refusal notices. Only after Betzedek proved to their legal advisors that a decision not to pay could bring sanctions against them did they demonstrate a willingness to pay. The Cities of Beit She'an, Afula and Kiryat Ata said they were examining the legal situation and apparently they, too, will pay soon. Local authorities and regional authorities that received the letter sent out by Atty. Green also agreed to pay the tuition fees. Apparently only one or two renegade authorities remain and administrative petitions will be filed against them in the coming days.


All material on this site is copyrighted and its use is restricted.
Click here for conditions of use.