Amsterdam: Parents paid for security - and the school lost funding

Amsterdam Jewish schools lose city’s subsidy because of excess parent contributions, including for security.

Cnaan Liphshiz, JTA ,

Soldiers stand guard outside Jewish schools in the port city of Antwerp, Belgium
Soldiers stand guard outside Jewish schools in the port city of Antwerp, Belgium
Flash 90

The two Jewish elementary schools in Amsterdam have lost their municipal subsidies because they received parent contributions, including for security costs.

Cheider and Rosj Pina learned recently that their subsidies, totaling $65,000 for 2019, will not be renewed because “they were not accessible enough,” the NIW Dutch-Jewish weekly reported Friday.

The move, led by Marjolein Moorman, a Dutch Labour politician and alderwoman for education at the city government of Amsterdam, is part of a crackdown on so-called rich schools to prevent socioeconomic gaps at publicly funded institutions of learning.

In addition to the Jewish schools, five non-Jewish ones also lost their municipal subsidies for exceeding the city-sanctioned ceiling on parent contributions of $262 per student for the entire school year.

But in the Jewish schools’ case, much of the contributions went to covering the costs of multiple security guards and experts, which the schools hired because of government assessments that puts them at an elevated risk of terrorist attacks.

Rosj Pina, which has about 270 students, received $1,362 per student in parent contributions in 2019, NIW wrote. Security costs for Jewish schools totaled approximately $355,000 that year.

The Jewish community of the Netherlands spends about $1.2 million annually on security. Its Jewish schools have a budget deficit of at least $250,000.

The school’s extra costs should have been subsidized from the start, making parent contributions unnecessary, Allon Kijl, a spokesperson for the JBO umbrella group of Dutch Jewish schools, told NIW. He said Moorman has been “inflexible” and declined to make an exception for Jewish schools.



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