United Torah Judaism MK Moshe Gafni agreed on Sunday to withdraw a private bill which would abolish obligatory core curriculum studies in haredi schools after Education Minister Naftali Bennett reportedly said he was preparing a government bill on the issue.
The current law, conditioning the size of the budget received by a particular institution from the Education Ministry on the teaching of at least 11 hours per week of English, math and science, was passed during the last government on the insistence of Yesh Atid, although it was never properly enforced.
The law was supposed to reduce the funding of what are known as “exempt institutions” and “other recognized but unofficial” schools, which the majority of male haredi pupils attend for their elementary education, from 55 percent and 75%, respectively, to just 30%.
In practice these penalties were not enacted, due to legal problems that were raised and due to the lack of teachers and inspectors for the haredi schools to implement the law.
UTJ nevertheless insisted in its coalition agreement with the Likud that the law be repealed, owing to the possible future threat that the law could be enforced.