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The cabinet, turning aside opposition by Education Minister Yuli Tamir and Attorney General Menachem Mazuz, Sunday approved a bill that would require local governments to fund a range of "non-official" school systems, among them the independent educational networks of the ultra-Orthodox Ashkenazi Agudat Israel and Degel Hatorah organizations, the Sephardi Haredi Shas Maayan system, and the non-religious Democratic schools.

The bill, proposed by Shas cabinet minister Meshulam Nahari, would equalize funding for the non-official systems.

In a letter she sent in December, 2006, Tamir wrote, "fear that the proposal will bring about results opposite to those we would wish, and instead of equality in education, it would cause the collapse of the state educational system in Israel, causing critical harm to other educational streams recognized by the state."

Tamir said she was not opposed to budgetary parity between the streams, but if Nahari was demanding full equality for educational institutions "recognized as unofficial" ? the vast majority of which are ultra-Orthodox - "he should know that there is no 'partial equality,' and the institutions would have to be subordinate to the administrative criteria of the Education Ministry."