Israel's Education Ministry to beef up funding for school field trips
Currently schools can charge parents in first and second grades NIS 101 a day, and parents in third and fourth grades NIS 126 a day. Schools can charge parents of grades 6-9 a maximum of NIS 387 for a two-day field trip and a maximum of NIS 606 from parents of 12th-grade students going on a three-day trip.
The state comptroller's report said parents' payments constitute some 10-15 percent of the Education Ministry's school budget, reaching some NIS 2-3 billion a year. The comptroller found that in 2010 schools charged parents about a billion shekels more than the ministry permitted. The comptroller's report states that the ministry is required "to generate a fundamental change in this area." The ministry has been granting NIS 55 million in recent years to help students from lower-income families.
Sa'ar said the price of textbooks was reduced this year by a system of lending books, and said the ministry will supervise textbook prices and upload them to the Internet. "We're in the midst of a turning point in the education system. It's reflected in many dimensions, first of all in allocating resources to the education system after years of budgetary erosion. Education is taking a larger place in the national agenda, as demonstrated by the state budget and reforms in all age groups," he said.
By Lior Dattel and Asaf Shtull-Trauring