Monday, May 6, 2013

A Budgetary Warning to Chareidim

In last weekend's Makor Rishon, there was an article about how the IDF views Chareidi education. They know for sure that twelve years of Chareidi education is not the same as twelve years of education in the state-run system. In the IDF's estimation, the average graduate of the Chareidi school system has an education somewhere in the sixth- through eighth-grade level.

In order to deal with this phenomenon, the IDF will be providing an educational framework for Chareidim who are drafted, in order to complete their education to reach a level which is on par with that of other inductees. They expect that in some cases, Hebrew language will need to be taught as well.

The article did not mention this, but education costs money, and a portion of the state budget will need to go toward reaching this goal.

In the news last week was a widely reported proposal (clearly aimed at Chareidi schools, though it may affect others as well) that in order to be eligible for full state funding, a school needs to teach at least 55% of the core curriculum.

Taken together, these two proposals should be taken by Chareidim as a warning. One way or another, the state will make sure that your kids' education will cover certain subjects to a certain level, which will be determined by a governmental body. You have the option to take care of it in your own educational system, under the auspices and guidance of your leaders. And you'll get the budget for it from the state. If you pass on this option, the IDF will get your budget, and they will handle this part of your kids education, without any input from you.

Viewed in this light, the IDF's plan to educate Chareidim within a military framework should provide a powerful incentive for them to teach the core curriculum in their own schools.

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