Children in special education programs can look forward to two more weeks of classes in the upcoming school year, Education Minister Naftali Bennett has said. At a special meeting of the Knesset Education Committee, Bennett said that instead of finishing the school year on July 30, such students will continue on until August 15th.
“The fact that we have an additional NIS 400 million to spend in the education budget has enabled us to implement numerous improvements,” Bennett told MKs in the surprise announcement. “As a result, we are extending the school year for special needs children. This is an important development for families.”
When school is closed in the summer months, Israeli parents are forced to seek out a framework for their children. Camps, when available, are expensive, but for handicapped and disabled children, the options are few. Bennett said that the new schedule will greatly assist families. The extension also applies to students who are physically handicapped, including blind and deaf children, as well as students with minor psychological issues studying in special classes.
Bennett added that with about a week to go, the new school year is set to open on time. No labor issues are in the offing. Since the two major threats by teachers to strike are now off the table, the Education Minister said that he expects a successful first day of class one week from Thursday.