Israel's Christian schools to end month-long strike over budget cuts

GMT 02:16 2015 Monday ,28 September

Arab Today, arab today Israel's Christian schools to end month-long strike over budget cuts

Christian schools Israel
Jerusalem - XINHUA

The council of Christian schools in Israel announced Sunday they will end their month-long strike over budget cuts, after reaching an agreement with the Ministry of Education.

Some 47 schools and about 33,000 pupils, most of them are Arab Christians and Muslims, were on strike since the school year began on Sept. 1. They will go back to classes on Monday.

Under the agreement, recent budget cuts will be canceled, and the Ministry of Social Equality will transfer to them a one-time budgetary supplement of 50 million shekels (about 12.6 million U.S. dollar). Some 7.5 million shekels (about 1.9 million dollars) will be allocated for "fostering development."

Also, the Ministry of Education will establish a committee to hear the schools' grievances. The committee will include government and Christian officials and should conclude its work by March 2016.

"We see this as a wonderful interim achievement, given that we have not only received a one-off financial support but also an agreement to establish a committee that will deal with the change of our legal status that will bring a long-term solution," the council said in a statement.

The schools went on strike, charging that while Jewish ultra-Orthodox schools are fully subsidized by the government, Christian schools were receiving only 75 percent of their budget from governmental funds.

Recently, the government cut down its support to 29 percent, making parents covering for the missing money out of their pocket.

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