Ra'anana plays hooky on education reform

The Education Ministry's "New Horizon" reform plan will not be introduced in Ra'anana in the coming school year, reports www.mynet.co.il. But the city will continue to allocate funds to renovations and improvements at schools around the city in preparation for the plan, enabling the upgrading of staff rooms, work spaces and study areas. According to the report, the number of local authorities expected to adopt the reform in the coming school year is being reduced because of budgetary considerations, and the ministry is concentrating on introducing it into "weaker" cities. In Ra'anana, teachers have vehemently opposed the plan since it was first announced, saying that although it increases their working hours by some 50 percent, it only increases their salaries by 26 percent. A teachers' representative said that although there had not yet been any official announcement, it was common knowledge that the plan would not be introduced in Ra'anana in the coming school year, and "we are happy about that." The representative said teachers would continue to follow developments on the issue. A Ra'anana municipal spokesman said the city was preparing to introduce the plan in accordance with ministry instructions, and any changes would be by order of the ministry.