With deal said reached, Christian schools expected to halt strike
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With deal said reached, Christian schools expected to halt strike

System to receive NIS 50 million from Education Ministry, letting 33,000 students go back to class; official announcement planned for later Sunday

Arab Israeli Christian students hold placards during a protest in Jerusalem to demand more funds for Christian schools, on September 6, 2015. (AFP/Menahem Kahana)
Arab Israeli Christian students hold placards during a protest in Jerusalem to demand more funds for Christian schools, on September 6, 2015. (AFP/Menahem Kahana)

After four weeks at home, pupils in Christian schools in Israel will resume studies on Monday, after a dispute between the council representing schools and the Education Ministry was resolved, sources said Sunday.

The sides held discussions on Saturday evening that extended late into the night and finally reached a breakthrough on Sunday morning, the Hebrew-language Haaretz daily reported.

According to the agreement, the system of 47 schools, in which some 33,000 mostly Muslim children study, will receive NIS 50 million ($12 million) from the state and an additional NIS 7.5 million ($2.7 million) as a bonus.

The schools had been on strike since the start of the month over budget cuts officials said amounted to hundreds of millions of shekels.

The sides had been stuck over a demand from the Education Ministry that the schools keep from calling any more strikes until the end of the 2017 school year, while the school system would only agree to not strike until July 2016.

A compromise agreement will keep junior high and high schools from striking until July 2017, while elementary schools won’t strike until July 2016.

A new joint committee will be established and regulate relations between the church schools and the Education Ministry, Haaretz reported.

The details of the full agreement between the schools and the ministry will be presented on Sunday afternoon at a press conference in Nazareth.

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