Following the long saga over the Language and Culture School in Ramat Beit Shemesh, the Beit Shemesh municipality and the Ministry of Education have finally reached a compromise, and filed it with the District Court in Jerusalem.
Tensions initially arose when the municipality decided to dedicate one of the floors of the school for the use of the hareidi institution, Mishkanot Daot, citing a lack of classroom space. However, officials said that the municipality made the decision without consulting school officials or other relevant sources.
The Ministry of Education requested that the Court issue an injunction against the Orthodox school but the judge rejected the appeal and ordered the parties to reach an agreement.
According to the apparent outline of this compromise, the Ministry of Education will erect four portable mobile structures to be placed in the courtyard of the school building, for the use of 110 Orthodox students currently studying in an empty wing of the building.
At the same time, the municipality and the Ministry of Education jointly promote finding a comprehensive and long-term solution to housing all educational institutions in the city, as early as 2016, including for both the Language and Culture School and Mishkanot Daot. It appears that the Language and Culture School will greet the new school year from an empty building in Beit Shemesh Havatika, an area where a majority of the school's students live.
Beit Shemesh Mayor, Moshe Abutbul, spoke Monday after the settlement agreement was drafted. "I welcome and am happy for this cooperation with the Ministry of Education. It has proved that the best interests of all the children in this city are more important than any other consideration. I hope that we will find a more fundamental and permanent solution for education in the developing Beit Shemesh."