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Israel finally agrees to increase support for Christian schools, but is it enough?

A historical agreement has been reached to rectify the discriminatory discrepancy in state subsidies to Jewish and Christian schools in Israel.

For the first 27 days of the 2015-16 school year in Israel, some 33,000 Palestinian students stayed at home during a strike demanding equality with Jewish schools, the first such action of its kind. On Sept. 27, the country's 47 private Christian schools — on strike since Sept. 1, the first day of the school year — announced their unanimous support for an agreement reached by a six-person committee representing the Christian schools and the Israeli Ministry of Education. The strike had focused primarily on the state subsidies provided to schools to allow them to lower the tuition paid by students' families.

Botrus Mansour, general director of the Nazareth Baptist School and one of the six negotiators, told Al-Monitor that September had been a difficult month, filled with pressure from the Israeli government as well as the parents of students. Everyone involved in the episode, however, is content with the results, according to Mansour.

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