Knesset Education Committee chairman Michael Melchior (Labor-Meimad) on Sunday called to convene an urgent meeting Monday to discuss budget cuts to the religious school system. "The draconian budget cut to the religious educational system is killing the national religious schools," Melchior said. The chairman's comments came as religious high schools throughout the country began a strike to protest the NIS 165 million budget cut in Jewish education. Some 100,000 students were estimated to be participating in the strike. The Education Ministry said that budget cuts to the religious institutions derived from the cessation of coalition funding transfers.