600,000 Children Return to School in Israel After Summer Vacation

Some 600,000 children returned to school today after the summer vacations with the threat of a high school teachers’ strike still unresolved.

At issue was the Government’s insistence on improving working conditions for the teachers on the condition that any improvements would not be a change in basic pay rates. The Government proposal, actually a disguised pay increase, would meet the high school teachers’ pay demands but would by-pass the present link between the pay of high school and elementary school teachers. Under present agreements, a rise for one group automatically produces an increase for the other.

Education officials disclosed that enrollment in Arab schools had increased by 4,000 this school year, bringing the number of Arab students up to 36,000. Another 10,000 attend non-Government schools, such as missions and other privately-sponsored institutions. The number of qualified Arab teachers also has increased, the officials reported. They said that the recent establishment of a new Arab teachers seminary promised further progress.

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