Just the facts: Jerusalem's education system

3 principal sectors compose capital's education system: state and state-religious, municipal Arab education, haredi educational institutions.

Chart of students in municipal education in J'lem (photo credit: Jerusalem Institute for Israel Studies)
Chart of students in municipal education in J'lem
(photo credit: Jerusalem Institute for Israel Studies)
Jerusalem’s education system reflects the city’s diverse population and comprises three principal sectors: state and state-religious education, which is managed by the Jerusalem Education Administration (JEA) within the municipality; municipal Arab education, which includes official educational institutions and recognized but unofficial institutions that operate according to the educational curriculum of the Palestinian Authority (also managed by the JEA); and haredi (ultra-Orthodox) educational institutions managed by the haredi educational division within the Municipality.
According to data from the Jerusalem Municipality, in the 2011-2012 academic year the city’s municipal educational system has 224,650 pupils. Of these, 43 percent attend haredi educational institutions, 31% attend municipal Arab educational institutions and 26% attend state and state-religious institutions.
These statistics do not include pupils receiving a private Arab education, estimated at approximately 20,000.
Among pupils in grades 7-12 (middle and high school), 37% receive a haredi education, 33% receive a municipal Arab education and 30% receive a state or state-religious education. At the elementary school level, by comparison, the figure for haredi pupils is close to 38%, slightly higher for Arab pupils (38%) and lower for pupils at state and state-religious schools (24%).
Among kindergarten children, the percentage receiving a haredi education is particularly high – 48% – as compared to the figures for municipal Arab education (28%) and state or state-religious (24%). The percentage of haredi children in kindergarten is especially high because it is affected by the relatively low percentage of Arab children, many of whom do not attend municipal kindergartens.
A separate analysis of pupils in the state education system reveals that their percentage of total pupils decreases in accordance with the following age groups: they represent 19% of the city’s high-school pupils, 15% of junior high-school pupils, 12% of elementary school pupils, and 10% of kindergarten children.
An analysis of trends over the past 10 years (compared to the 2000-2001 academic year) reveals that the most significant change occurred within the municipal Arab educational sector, where the number of pupils increased by 126%. This change resulted from the Education Ministry’s increased recognition of private Arab schools in Jerusalem as “recognized but unofficial institutions,” the construction of new classrooms, which increased the capacities of the schools, and natural population growth. During the same period, the number of pupils receiving a haredi education increased by 30%, and within the state and state-religious sector there was a 12% decrease.