Knesset Extends Compulsory Education Law to 12th Grade

Amended law makes Education Ministry, local authorities responsible for high school drop-outs through 12th grade.

The amendment to the Compulsory Education Law, extending its coverage through 12th grade, will take effect next school year. Currently the law applies to pupils through 10th grade.

The Knesset's education and finance committees Monday rejected a proposal to cancel the amendment, which was included in the Economic Arrangements Bill. Before the voting, the Education Committee chair, MK Michael Melchior (Labor), reached an understanding with Finance Ministry officials to remove their objection in return for extending the law's implementation period up to the 2012-13 school year.

Last July the Knesset approved Melchior's proposed amendment, which was seconded by numerous other MKs, but a short while later the Finance Ministry introduced into the Economic Arrangements Bill a proposal to cancel the amendment, citing a "budget cost" estimated then at NIS 190 million.

Currently, when schools want to drop pupils after 10th grade, they are not obligated to find them alternative frameworks. The amended law makes the Education Ministry and local authorities responsible for such teenagers through 12th grade.