On Thursday, an estimated 2.5 million Israeli students attended schools in Israel following months of disputes between the Finance Ministry and teachers’ unions that delayed the start of the new school year after the long summer months.
After reaching last-minute agreements on Wednesday evening, a large teachers’ strike was averted, thus sending all children and instructors to school on September 1st, at the start of the term.
The Finance Ministry and the Secondary School Teachers’ Association reached an agreement that will shorten the school week to five days and implement reforms in humanities high school matriculation exams. A similar deal was also reached between the ministry and the Israel Teachers’ Union, which represents nursery school, kindergarten, and elementary school teachers.
This agreement, which will last till 2026, will ensure higher salaries for teachers and principals as well as performance bonuses. It also changes school vacation days to better align school schedules with those of working parents. The sides also agreed to a more streamlined process for laying off teachers and a three-year wait before qualifying for tenure.