Education Ministry to Change Core Curriculum Law

YERUSHALAYIM -
Talmidim in a classroom at Talmud Torah Ohalei Menachem in Beitar Illit. (Nati Shohat/Flash90.)
Talmidim in a classroom at a Talmud Torah in Beitar Illit. (Nati Shohat/Flash90.)

The Education Ministry issued Sunday a memorandum exempting chareidi schools from teaching the core curriculum studies in order to receive government funding.

According to the memorandum, the law obligating Israeli schools to teach the core curriculum – which was one of the achievements of the Yesh Atid party in the previous coalition – will be effectively canceled. The memorandum authorizes the Education Ministry to fund the chareidi institutions without any conditions and restrictions.

The memorandum essentially eliminates Yesh Atid’s law, and gives the current Education Minister Naftali Bennett broad authority to fund these institutions unconditionally.

The current law states that any educational institution in Israel, including the chareidi institutions, must have between ten and 11 hours of instruction per week in subjects like math, English and science. Any institution that doesn’t fulfill this criteria will be eligible for significantly less funding. The law was to have come into effect gradually during the next year, but has now been completely canceled.

The Education Ministry said that Bennett intends to determine future regulations concerning the core curriculum in chareidi institutions.

The bill issued by the Education Ministry is actually similar to a bill raised by MK Rabbi Moshe Gafni (United Torah Judaism) regarding the cancellation of the core curriculum studies, which was filed six months ago and subsequently removed from the agenda. Now, however, the chareidi MKs have reached an agreement with Bennett, and pending the coalition agreement, he is required to pass the law.