Sources inform ''Globes'' that the Netanyahu government has decided to renew the budget for "education campuses", which are mainly designated for especially large institutions for haredi (ultra-orthodox) and religious groups . The decision overturns the elimination of this item achieved by the Shinui party when it was a member of the government.
The coalition agreement between the Likud and Shas reached on the 2011-12 biennial budget two weeks ago, the Ministry of Interior, headed by Shas party chairman Eli Yishai, was given NIS 30 million over three years, 2010-12, for the education campuses. The Ministry of Interior is the third ministry, after the Ministry of Education and the Ministry of Social Affairs, to receive a budget for financing yeshivas (religious seminaries).
The budget for the education campuses was eliminated in 2000, because the allocation of the funds was deemed illegal. Now, not only has it been reinstated through the Ministry of Interior; it has been increased 2.5-fold.
In the late 1990s, the education campuses budget was a sources of funding for haredi and other religious institutions with at least 500 students. This was a supplemental budget to the yeshivas' funding from the Ministry of Education and the Ministry of Social Affairs, designated for the construction of buildings and infrastructures.
A State Comptroller's report in 2001 pointed to illegalities in some of the funds' distributions over several years.
Published by Globes [online], Israel business news - www.globes-online.com - on August 5, 2010
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