Discrimination Against Palestinian Arab Children in Israel's Schools
September 30, 2001

Nearly one in four of Israel's 1.6 million schoolchildren are educated in a public school system wholly separate from the majority.  The children in this parallel school system are Israeli citizens of Palestinian Arab origin.  Their schools are a world apart in quality from the public schools serving Israel's majority Jewish population.  Often overcrowded and understaffed, poorly built, badly maintained, or simply unavailable, schools for Palestinian Arab children offer fewer facilities and educational opportunities than are offered other Israeli children. This report is about Israel's discrimination against its Palestinian Arab children in guaranteeing the right to education.  The Israeli government operates two separate school systems, one for Jewish children and one for Palestinian Arab children.  Discrimination against Palestinian Arab children colors every aspect of the two systems.  Education Ministry authorities have acknowledged that the ministry spends less per student in the Arab system than in the Jewish school system.  The majority's schools also receive additional state and state-sponsored private funding for school construction and special programs through other government agencies. The gap is enormous-on every criterion measured by Israeli authorities.