Late Monday night, the Knesset passed, in its second and third reading, a bill that cancels the core curriculum requirement as a prerequisite for receiving government funding. This marks the end of the anti-chareidi legislation introduced when Yesh Atid was in the coalition. The final reading passed with 41 MKs in favor, to 28 MKs against.
Under the new law – part of the coalition agreement between Likud and UTJ – the schools do not need to teach ten hours of the core curriculum each week as a condition for funding.
This new law essentially repeals the law passed by Likud-Yesh Atid in the previous government, and gives the current Education Minister Naftali Bennett broad authority to fund these institutions unconditionally.
Furthermore, it marks the completion of a rollback of hundreds of laws and regulations passed when Yair Lapid was Finance Minister and Shai Piron was Education Minister.
Deputy Education Minister Rabbi Meir Porush, speaking before the final reading, explained the basis for the change in the core curriculum law and the importance of maintaining an independent chareidi school system, as it has been ever since the founding of the state.
“For nearly 70 years, since the establishment of the state, the Education Ministry recognized the status of the independent ‘exempt’ schools,” Rabbi Porush said, referring to some chareidi schools exempt from state regulations.
“Ministers came and went; they all recognized the exempt schools,” he said, “and there is no reason for us not to allow them to keep to their mesorah and teach their children as they feel is correct, b’derech Yisrael saba.”