Christian schools in Israel closed by funding crisis

Christian-backed schools in Israel are set to remain closed when the autumn term begins due to an ongoing funding crisis.

In an announcement from the Secretariat of Christian Schools in Israel, which provides education to some 33,000 pupils, despite a positive meeting on the issue with Israel’s President Reuven Rivlin last week, schools are set to remain closed while a solution to the funding crisis is found.

At the heart of the matter is the contention by the Christian schools’ group that Israel’s Ministry of Education has steadily cut funding to its schools to the tune of 45% over the last 10 years, placing the funding burden on families already struggling on low incomes. Most recently, new guidelines capped the level of funding to be gained from even that quarter.  

“Our demands are simple”, Father Faysal Hijazin, Secretary General of the Christian Schools said before the presidential meeting. “Our schools have the right to be treated like the others, and our children have the right to education, like all other Israeli children.” He added that many of the group’s schools would be forced to close down entirely if the financial shortfall continues.