Dei'ah veDibur - Information & Insight

A Window into the Chareidi World

27 Cheshvan 5768 - November 8, 2007 | Mordecai Plaut, director Published Weekly










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Shema Yisrael Torah Network











Transportation Budget Discriminates Against Chareidi Education System

By Eliezer Rauchberger

The school transportation budget for the general sector amounts to NIS 900 million ($230 million) — NIS 600 million from the Education Ministry and another NIS 300 million from the local authorities — while the transportation budget for the chareidi educational system totals a mere NIS 25 million ($6 million), with Chinuch Atzmai accounting for NIS 21 million ($5 million), even though today the chareidi education system comprises 20 percent of Israeli schools.

These disturbing figures that point to shocking discrimination against the chareidi education system were brought to light at a meeting of the Knesset Education Committee on Tuesday.

It was also found that four years ago, when a decision was reached to set eligibility criteria for all school bussing, these criteria were in fact only applied to the chareidi transportation system. In response to a question posed by MK Rabbi Moshe Gafni, Shoshana Yamin, the Education Ministry official in charge of transportation, admitted that at the time she received instructions from a highly ranking figure to implement the criteria at chareidi institutions alone.

Rabbi Gafni expressed dismay upon hearing the figures and the details. "This is an unparalleled scandal," he said. "The chareidi education system is being discriminated against in a way that has no equal, and yet a Justice Ministry official [recently] claimed that children in [the chareidi system] receive more than children in the general education system. What we've heard here at this committee meeting is chutzpah of the worst kind. I intend to pass on the minutes of this meeting to Chinuch Atzmai so that they can file a High Court discrimination suit against the State, which discriminates against chareidi education in the worst way possible. How can [the chareidi] education system receive so little money, yet obstacles are laid before `the poor man's sheep' by discontinuing funding for transportation because of these and other criteria. Now, as they begin to apply them to the general education system, everyone sees how illogical they are."

After the meeting MK Gafni told a Yated Ne'eman reporter he plans to have the Attorney General and the State Comptroller find out who gave instructions to apply the criteria to the chareidi education system alone.


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