Local authorities’ involvement in funding primary school instruction hours and its effect on affirmative action in the state education system

Nachum Blass, Shay Tsur, And Noam Zussman

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

Abstract

This paper examines the extent of local authorities’ involvement in funding instruction hours in Israel’s regular official primary education system, and its effect on the extent of affirmative action in the number of hours available to students from a weak socioeconomic background. Between 2001 and 2009, local authorities’ share was approximately 1.7 weekly hours per class, representing about 3 percent of total hours and about 30 percent of hours not provided by the Ministry of Education. The Ministry provides students from a weak socioeconomic background approximately 26 percent more hours than to students from a strong background, but funding from the local authorities reduces the gap to approximately 21 percent. In the State Secular Jewish system, the allocation of hours provided by the Ministry of Education for students from a weak socioeconomic background is about 32 percent higher than that for students from a strong background. Local authorities’ funding reduced the gap to about 27 percent—because financially strong ones allocated much greater resources to the primary schools than weak authorities did, despite a markedly affirmative action policy of the former in favor of schools with students from a weak socioeconomic background:2–3 weekly hours per class more than to schools with students from a strong socioeconomic background. We also found that the extent of affirmative action conducted by the local authorities in their jurisdiction strengthened the higher their revenues per resident were, and the lower their debt per resident was.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)101-126
Number of pages26
JournalIsrael Economic Review
Volume17
Issue number2
StatePublished - 2019
Externally publishedYes

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