The first dimension is the increase in student enrollment and changes in the distribution of students among sectors of the system. The second concerns changes in the size of schools and classes. This dimension, too, is discussed on the basis of distribution among sectors of the system. The fragmentation of the education system by educational streams and communities is reflected in a proliferation of small schools; this phenomenon is discussed at length. The third dimension is the budgeting of the system and how it varies by educational level. The fourth dimension concerns main developments in education manpower.
Part B discusses two issues of major concern in Israeli society: the rising trend in private expenditure on education, using “other sources,” especially parent payments, to finance the system; and the issue of inequality in achievements and educational disparities, and the relationship between them. In this context, the education system’s ability to narrow disparities among students who come from different social strata is examined. A proposal is put forward for an initiative to promote compensatory educational activities, entailing extra resource allocation for those population groups who under-achieve due to certain socioeconomic characteristics. The proposed activities would raise the achievement level of the population at large and narrow inequality among its segments.
This paper appears as a chapter in the Center’s annual publication, Israel’s Social Services 2004, Yaakov Kop (editor).