Israel HaYom reports:
A clause in the arrangements bill that would have required ultra-Orthodox schools to teach students the state's core curriculum has been deleted in its entirety, Meretz party head Zehava Gal-On revealed on Monday, as Attorney-General Yehuda Weinstein began reviewing the chapter of the bill covering education.
Clauses in the arrangements bill that would affect the haredi population were within the first few pages of a draft of the bill that was leaked to the media in April.
The new version of the bill seems to have cut Finance Ministry-backed amendments to government benefits that haredim have enjoyed, including a stipulation that would have required ultra-Orthodox schools to administer international and Israeli standardized tests as a condition for receiving additional financial aid.
In addition, new criteria and competitive-testing requirements that would have become conditions for all haredi schools, regardless of denomination, to receive governmental financial support were also deleted from the amended arrangements bill.…
It isn't clear how this section was removed. But the likely culprit isn't Finance Minister Yair Lapid – it is Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu or one of his proxies.
Netanyahu's Ashkenazi haredi allies have made it clear that they will never teach secular subjects in their schools.
Ashkenazi haredi leader Rabbi Aharon Leib Shteinman reportedly issued a proclamation yesterday on the front page of the daily newspaper he controls, Yated Ne'eman.
“They come to us now to interfere and demand that we change study arrangements by adding more hours of secular studies and threaten us with altering the budgets. It is incumbent on all principles of haredi schools to unequivocally reject [these proposals], and not change by even a hair’s breadth the educational path which we have received until today,” Shteinman reportedly wrote.
Haredi students are so poorly educted that they need extensive remedial help to serve in the army, join the workforce or get technical training or a higher degree. Most have had no civics, science, computer, English language instruction, Modern Hebrew instruction, or more than very basic math instruction.
Economists and organizations like the International Monetary Fund point to the rapidly growing haredi segment of Israel's society as a danger for Israel's economy and for its security.
Shteinman has also instructed haredi yeshiva students to refuse to serve in Israel's military when drafted.
The arrangements bill reportedly still contains cuts that will impact the haredi community, including some cuts to the haredi yeshiva system.
The Jerusalem Post also reports that Education Minister Shai Piron has formed an advisory committee made up of four haredi activists who, the Post says, "have expressed support for reforming the haredi school system."
Piron wants to find a way to get haredi schools to teach the core curriculum despite the intense opposition its leadership.
Because of his commitment to do this, the Ashkenazi haredi United Torah Judaism party half-controlled by Shteinman reportedly previously called Piron “the most dangerous man in Israel for the haredim."