According to a report by Galatz journalist Yoeli Brim, two schools will join the network as part of an initial pilot program, and the agreement is later expected to expand to all of the hasidic sect's schools, which include approximately 9,000 students.
The move has caused a rift in the joint United Torah Judaism party, which includes the hasidic Agudat Yisrael and the Lithuanian-haredi Degel Hatorah: Last year, Degel Hatorah threatened to split from Agudat Yisrael if the program to teach the core curriculum goes through.
At the time, the two parties agreed that if the right-religious bloc did not succeed in forming a government, Degel Hatorah would allow some of the Belz schools to join the independent haredi school system. Under that agreement, those schools which do not become part of the independent haredi system would be added to the Shas-run Bnei Yosef chain.
Shas initially opposed the proposition, but eventually the sides hired lawyers to see if it would be possible to overcome the legal difficulties involved in the merger.