Court decision delays firing of 1,500 teachers

The National Labor Court decided on Thursday night to extend the deadline for informing teachers of their dismissals until June 6, granting more time to attempts to solve the budget crisis in the periphery that could lead to the firing of some 1,500 teachers in some of the poorest areas in the country. The budget crisis comes after a February 2006 High Court of Justice ruling that canceled the "national priority areas" method for distributing funds to high schools in the periphery. The map for distributing some NIS 80 million in supplemental funding was deemed unfair by the court since it heavily favored Jewish areas over Arab ones in education spending, and the Education Ministry was ordered to develop a map that was in keeping with the principle of "equality."