Parents have been complaining about the high cost of schoolbooks as long as I’ve had kids in school. The books get pricier every year, the schools change curricula regularly, and there are too many workbooks. So the education ministry has allotted a budget for a nationwide book-borrowing project, implemented by individual schools.
It works like this: The schools have sent out letters to all parents. Sixty percent of the parents need to agree before the school can implement the program. Parents do not have to participate.
To kick-start the project, they are asking parents to donate the books from this year instead of selling them back. Even if the children are graduating, the ministry points out that you are likely to get only 20% of the book’s value.
If your child loses or damages a book, you’ll need to pay for repair or replacement. Workbooks will be included, fortunately, but some schools will not allow children to write in them.
Schools can ask parents for a maximum annual amount of NIS 280 for elementary school and 320 for high school. The rest of the money comes from the government (i.e. our taxes). I think it’s worth it. Even with recycling books and borrowing, I usually spend at least NIS 4-500 per elementary school child and more in high school.
The schools might still try to find ways to require parents to buy extra books, but why be a pessimist? I’m expecting a few bugs but let’s hope this project gets off the ground with few problems.
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Source: Education ministry website.