410,000 children of Eretz Yisroel’s Torah world began the new school year, including 12,349 special education children. 26,795 of them began first grade. Chinuch Atzmai has a total of 100,659 students this year compared to 96,442 last year and Shas’s Ma’ayan Hachinuch has 45,714 compared to 45,657 last year.
Recognized but unofficial institutions have 33,439 students, exempt institutions have 51,158, government chareidi schools have 4,000, and Chabad has 30,000.
Despite the large numbers of children in Torah schools, a study of the Taub Center for Social Policy Studies in Israel found that although the number of children in chareidi society is still growing faster than any other sector, the rate of increase slowed down since 2000. The number of children in chareidi institutions grew by 6.7% between 2000 and 2001, but only by 5.1% between 2014 and 2015. The increase-rate of children starting kindergarten dropped by 50% between these two periods.
The decelerated growth of Arab students was even more dramatic, dropping from 6.7% to only 2.3% between the two time frames. Secular numbers rose from 0.3% to 3.1% between the two periods.
David Steger – Matzav.com Israel