Teachers spared from budget cutbacks

Angry parents protest cancellation of daycare subsidies.

WORKING PARENTS and their children in "march of strollers" 3 (photo credit: Marik Shtern)
WORKING PARENTS and their children in "march of strollers" 3
(photo credit: Marik Shtern)
Teachers’ salaries will not be subject to budget cuts and no teachers will be laid off, according to the Treasury’s draft budget, in accordance with Education Minister’s promise made last month at the Kibbutzim College of Education annual conference.
According to the proposal, some NIS 1.5 billion will be cut from the education budget.
Among other things, the cuts will be reflected in the planned cancellation of subsidies for after-school programs for children between three and nine years old.
The Education Ministry said it is currently working to try to reduce the financial burden on parents, who also are required to pay for annual school trips.
The issue of low salaries for teaching assistants in kindergartens is also to be addressed, according to the ministry.
Over 200 working parents and their children participated in a “march of strollers” on Sunday evening in Jerusalem to protest some of the Treasury’s economic decisions that are expected to affect working parents.
According to the protesters, some of the new measures override the achievements reached after the summer 2011 “march of strollers,” when parents’ complaints were heard and addressed in the solutions adopted by the government in January 2012.
Along with protesting the cancellation of subsidies for daycare for three- to nine-yearolds, parents demonstrated against changes in the benefits offered to parents working for the National Insurance Institute; increases in parent’s payments to schools; health taxation for stay-at-home mothers; and cuts in child allotments.
Participants held signs saying: “Lapid, don’t harm working parents” as well as “Give working parents breathing room,” and said they would not let the new decrees pass quietly.
“We protested two years ago because we felt we did not manage to keep our heads above water, and raising children is becoming too expensive in Israel,” said Jerusalem City Council member Rachel Azaria – who has been leading the parents movement – in a statement. “Years later, when the things we fought for are finally going to be implemented, the Finance Ministry decided to cancel them with new decrees.”
“We will not agree to more cuts directly affecting working parents when, at the same time, whole populations that are not struggling to survive remain unaffected due to their powerful lobby. We are the parents’ lobby,” Azaria continued.
The director of the movement in Jerusalem, Uri Ayalon, added that Jerusalem parents have patience and will know how to make sure the Treasury’s new intentions will not be put into effect.