Education Ministry cuts school payments, saving parents money

'Students will continue to hike, enjoy enrichment activities,' Education Min. Galant promises.

Arutz Sheva Staff ,

Schoolgirls (illustrative)
Schoolgirls (illustrative)

Education Minister Yoav Galant (Likud) on Tuesday announced to the Knesset's Education Committee his decision to reduce parents' payments during the upcoming 2020-2021 school year.

"During these days of managing the coronavirus crisis, and with the difficult and complex financial reality, our job is to show responsibility and reduce the burden of payments on parents," he said. "After comprehensive and thorough work, and together with representatives of educational institutions' directors, I have decided to reduce the payments for four services: the cultural basket, end-of-year parties, additional curricula, and purchase by choice."

"In addition to the reduction, we see the importance of preserving educational routine and consistency in preschools and schools, while adhering to the health guidelines. As such, the students will continue to hike and to absorb Zionist values, and to enjoy other enrichment activities."

The reduction will allow the average family to save between 600-780 shekels ($176-229) per school-age child. A family with two or more school-age children will be able to save thousands of shekels.

The reduction in payments will be as follows:

1. Cultural basket

* a 10% reduction for all ages
* savings per child will be between 8-18 shekel

2. End-of-year parties

* educational institutions will hold end-of-year ceremonies instead of end-of-year parties
* a 50% reduction in the cost of the party (for preschools, grades 6/8, grade 9, grade 12)
* savings per child will range between 27-100 shekel

3. Additional curricula for enrichment

* the reduction will apply to all schools and grades, and will amount to 60%
* schools will be able to demand payment for up to two hours weekly
* in elementary schools, the savings will be 531 shekels (three hours)
* in middle school, the savings will be 636 shekels (three hours)
* in high schools, the savings will be 690 shekels (three hours)
* for preschools, there is no change, and payment will be demanded for up to three hours

3a. Additional curricula for religious schools and unique schools

* the reduction will be 66%, for all schools and grades; this is equivalent to a reduction of 10 hours for each grade, and schools will be able to charge for another five weekly hours
* savings for elementary school students will be 1,770 shekels
* savings for middle school students will be 2,120 shekels
* savings for high school students will be 2,300 shekels

3b. Payment for third reinforced subject, for 5 point matriculation students in high school, will remain unchanged, and schools can demand payment for up to five weekly hours.

Schools which wish to add hours to their additional curricula will be required to receive special permission from a committee headed by their district director.

4. Purchase by choice

Payment will be reduced by 15% for all ages, from preschool through grade 12

* the savings for a preschool child will be 19 shekels
* the savings for an elementary school student will be 37 shekels
* the savings for a middle school student will be 65 shekels
* the savings for a high school student will be 65 shekels

The payment table which will be brought before the Education Committee will include a section on musical schools. This service will see no change in payments, and parents will be required to pay the 650 shekel fee as they did in previous years.