Tamir: No Local Funds for Haredi Schools

Education Minister Yuli Tamir objects to a bill initiated by Shas minister Meshulam Nahari, obligating local authorities to finance ultra-Orthodox schools to the same extent the Education Ministry funds state schools.

The cabinet is to vote on the bill on Sunday.

Tamir said the proposal "infringes on the principle of equality and discriminates against the public schools."

She added that if Nahari wanted full equality in funds for the ultra-Orthodox schools, "they would have to be subject to the Education Ministry's criteria."

Tamir said she did not object to financial equality among the school systems, but said that they must be subject to "clear criteria like class size and number of pupils."

Tamir asked Nahari to put off the vote on his proposal until it is debated by the cabinet and by all the professional bodies involved.

"I fear the bill would lead to the opposite of what we wish, and instead of equality in education it would collapse public education in Israel and fatally damage other education systems that have been recognized by the state," she wrote in a letter to Nahari.

Union of Local Authorities' chairman Adi Eldar said the bill was "a great danger to state education."