Students Call for Nationwide Strike Over Budget Cuts

The National Student and Youth Council is calling for a nationwide strike in schools on Wednesday in an effort to drastically increase the Education Ministry's budget.

The planned strike would apply to 7th-12th grades. The students plan to hold a demonstration across from Prime Minister Ehud Olmert's office in Jerusalem.

"Even though there was a slight addition to the budget this year, before the last elections a bigger investment was promised," said Student Council Chairman Hagai Oren.

"We notified the head of the Education Ministry, Yuli Tamir, and the director-general, Shmuel Abuav, about our intentions to strike, but we didn't ask permission from anyone," he said.

The Education Ministry said minister Tamir opposes the strike, but that she proposed methods for a joint effort to increase the ministry's budget.

The Knesset Education Committee will hold an extra hearing on the education budget today, along with Finance Minister Abraham Hirchson.