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Several private schools will close next year due to a funding shortfall resulting from the controversial salary-scale law, portending a tougher year ahead if the government does not intervene in the educational sector. The Catholic Schools Secretariat announced that eight of its small schools – with 400 to 500 students enrolled – will permanently close as a result of financial losses related to the repercussions of Law 46, legislation that was met with a yearlong wave of strikes and protests. Public and private schools are customarily linked in law, and the act hiked salaries for teachers in both kinds of schools.Sounding the alarm for private schools, Rahmeh said the problems facing schools constituted a "national crisis" broader than the education sector alone and that the crisis should be addressed by the government as soon as possible.Rahmeh asserted that Catholic schools – the country's largest bloc of private schools with 336 institutions – will not be able to pay the six-grade raise to their staff next year despite teachers' rights to raises that correspond to those of their public sector colleagues.
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