Yerushalayim mayor Nir Barkat met rabbonim and politicians of the chareidi Degel Hatorah party who felt that he was antagonistic to their needs and promised to upgrade chareidi schools as part of a general plan to enhance the city’s schools. Barkat also agreed to transfer a large section of the religious Zionist Harel School in Ramot to a local Bais Yaakov school and announced that three new kindergartens will be built for chareidim in the mixed Kiryat Yovel neighborhood as well as other improvements in mixed neighborhoods.
Meanwhile, Jewish and Arab parents petitioned in court against the Education Ministry and Yerushalayim municipality, asking the court to demand an explanation why chareidi schools are 1,600 classrooms short and why 2,000 classrooms are missing in Arab neighborhoods. A Bais Yaakov school in the Neveh Yaakov neighborhood went on strike at the beginning of the school year when the municipality provided it with prefab classrooms instead of a permanent building.
The leftist Ir Amim organization noted that despite a high court ruling five years ago requiring the city to absorb all east Yerushalayim students into the public school system, the numbers of Arab children in unofficial schools had grown larger than those in public schools.
The municipality admitted that the city is 3,800 classrooms short but blamed this on the government, which only provides funds for a hundred classrooms annually.
David Steger – Matzav.com Israel News Bureau