Start of the school year at the Al-Kasom Regional Council
On 2.9.2019, ACRI petitioned the Be'er Sheva District Court along with the Arab Education Monitoring Committee, the Council for the Unrecognized Villages in the Negev, and three unrecognized villages. We demanded that the court order the Education Minister and the Al-Kasom Regional Council to take immediate action to commence the school year. Due to a budget dispute between the Ministry of Finance and the regional council, schools within the council were not opened and approximately 18,000 students remained at home. The council did not even provide shuttles to the schools that did open.
The Al-Kasom Regional Council includes seven recognized localities, in addition to providing educational services to a number of unrecognized localities. This is in accordance with the 2005 Bedouin Education Services Agreement, which determines that the Regional Council will serve as the executive branch for the Ministry of Education to provide educational services to the unrecognized villages. The council operates 23 schools and 99 kindergartens, with five schools and 32 kindergartens outside its jurisdiction.
The petition claims that the compulsory education law requires the state to ensure free, available, and accessible education for every child. It was further claimed that the constitutional right to equality requires the authorized authorities, most notably the Ministry of Education, to provide equitable education for every child in Israel.
On 8.8.2019, a hearing was held on the petition, and the court set a two-day period until the next hearing to allow the parties to reach an agreed upon solution. Already on the same day, the Al-Kasom Regional Council announced that school would resume and that the shuttles and educational system would resume functioning the next day. The following day, the Ministry of Education and the Al-Kasom Regional Council announced that they had reached an agreed-upon outline, and the petition was annulled.
Petition no. 4637-09-19 al-Hawashle v. Minister of Education
Attorney: Sana Ibn Bari
For further information (Hebrew)