Rich Israelis Spend Four Times as Much on Education as Poor Do, Data Shows

The level of investment in school activities is directly related to the student's scholastic outcome

File photo: A school in Lod, central Israel, 2018.
Ofer Vaknin

Israeli Parents who earn in the top 20 percent invest four times as much in their children’s education than those in the bottom 20 percent, shows data published by the Central Bureau of Statistics on Monday.

According to the data, wealthier families spend an average of 1,190 shekels ($332) a month on educational services for each of their children from elementary school through high school, while the bottom 20 percent spend an average of only 277 shekels ($63.39) a month.

>> Opinion: Israel’s unprotected secular education ■ Editorial: Independent public education 

The CBS statistics also point to gaps between different segments of the population. The average parental expenditure for education for a Jewish child in a state school comes to 749 shekels ($209), compared to 625 shekels ($174.52) in the state-religious system and 430 shekels (120$) in the ultra-Orthodox system. The average family expenditure per child in the Arab community is 296 shekels ($82.65) a month.

The level of investment in education has a direct influence on the student’s scholastic achievement. According to CBS data from 2014, only 49 percent of students earn a high school matriculation certificate in poorer localities that are ranked 1 or 2 (the lowest CBS economic rankings), compared to 83 percent of students in towns and cities ranked 9 or 10.

Overall, Israeli families spend an average of 562 shekels ($156.93) a month on each child’s education. Most of this amount goes to supplementary in-school activities like field trips and after-school activities like clubs, tutoring and test-preparation courses. The rest goes to buy textbooks, notebooks, computers and library memberships.