Berlin Senate imposes education cuts, fuels pollution in city schools

Having already slashed funding for the capital’s schools, leaving students completely exposed to the coronavirus, the Berlin Senate, a coalition of Social Democrats, Leftists and Greens, is now seeking further funding for the education sector. We are planning to reduce. The latest austerity measures reveal the “red-red-green” Senate’s disregard for the fate of children and young people.

To meet savings targets set by the Senate, much-needed school expansion and renovation measures already planned for implementation by 2026 will be postponed for up to five years. Effectively, this means further cuts that exacerbate an already disastrous situation in Berlin’s schools.

During this period, some districts will have to accept cuts of hundreds of millions of euros. This means that not only are urgently needed additional school sites not available, but existing sites will be lost if the dilapidated building fails to refurbish. Many children are already unable to attend local primary schools due to building defects or lack of renovations. Long distances to school, overcrowded classrooms, alternative classes in small counseling rooms or fabricated containers are a sad reality for an increasing number of students and teachers.

Children returning to school in Germany in 2020 (AP/Michael Sohn) [AP Photo/Michael Sohn]

During the last election campaign, the SPD, the Greens and the Left Party declared the city’s education system to be a priority and to be expanded. During the COVID-19 crisis, various political parties have expressed concerns over student education, stating that children and young people lack opportunities for proper education at home, justifying a return to face-to-face classes. . Current Senate policy makes these promises blatant lies.

In March, the Berlin Senate passed the 2022 and 2023 budgets, agreeing to make significant cuts. He cut his two-year budget from over €78.3 billion to €76.6 billion (this year he has €38.7 billion and next year he has €37.9 billion). The focus of savings was, among other things, on the education system.

Initially, the annual disposal fund of individual schools was to be reduced to €3,000. Massive protests by school principals and parents’ associations forced the Senate to withdraw the plan.

However, a reduction of about 1 billion euros is now due to be implemented within five years. The cuts came after the Berlin Senate agreed between departments “a lump sum of more than €4 billion in cut spending,” according to the finance department headed by Senator Daniel Wesener (Green). When the budget passed, Wesener had already announced that “war cannot be budgeted” and that funding a proxy war against Russia could entail further cuts to the city’s education, health and social services. was hinting that there was

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