The course that has just begun does so with 5,000 fewer teachers in public education than a year ago, according to a report from the Workers’ Commissions presented this Tuesday. The document also reflects that, in five years, the public school has suffered the elimination of 3,490 classes in infant and primary, while in the concerted one only 72 were eliminated. Despite the fact that both networks have lost a similar percentage of students in these stages (in fact, it has been reduced a little more in the concerted, 7.45%, than in the public, 7.06%), the percentage of groups cut in the public is almost 20 times higher, 2.51 % of the total, than in the concerted one, 0.13%.
This has the consequence of an increase in the ratio of students per classroom in public schools (or, at least, that it does not decrease as much as it could in a context of decreasing numbers of students due to the drop in birth rates, as it does in the concerted). And, furthermore, it favors the transfer of students from the public to the subsidized school (which would have lost even more enrollment if the groups were eliminated in a more balanced way between both school networks).
“The data reveal a political attitude of deliberately weakening public schools,” says Francisco García, general secretary of Workers’ Commissions. “And it is a decision that normally coincides with the political bias of certain governments. If one sees where the harshest, most palpable reality is, one can see that when the right governs, the public network weakens and the concerted network strengthens.”
The most striking case is that of Andalusia, where public centers have lost 5.9% of their classes between 2018 and 2023, while those in the concerted network have not only not decreased, but have increased by 5%. The PP began to govern Andalusia in January 2019. In Andalusia, unlike the average for Spain as a whole, the public network has also lost a higher percentage of students, 10.7%, compared to 4.3%. of the subsidized private. CC OO highlights that one of the consequences of the suppression of classes in the public network is that this generates an additional loss of students to what is already causing the long decline in birth rates in the school. Among the few cases that escape the general trend is Aragón, presided over by the socialists between 2015 and 2023, where public schools have experienced an increase of 1.4% in groups (and a drop of 5.2% in students). , and the concerted school has lost 1.2% of groups while its enrollment fell by 10.2%.
Shielding of concerts and judges
The fact that many more groups have been suppressed in public schools than in the subsidized private network has been influenced by the fact that, for years, educational concerts have acted as a shield. The concerts, which usually last six years in primary school and four in the rest of the stages (the Government of Madrid has extended them to a decade), have protected the centers that had them even when enrollment fell and the corresponding autonomous community wanted take away units, thanks in many cases to the acceptance of lawsuits by the courts. The entry into force, in 2020, of the current educational law, the Lomloe, changed the scenario by establishing the obligation for autonomous executives to offer a sufficient number of public places and giving them the power to organize their offer, says Héctor Adsuar, secretary of Public Education of CC OO. Its application falls on the autonomous communities. But now at least they have the opportunity to use the arguments of an organic law before the courts in case of conflict.
Another factor that has contributed to the fact that the public school is most affected is the fact that it is the one that guarantees the educational service in the rural areas (where the subsidized one is barely implemented) most affected by depopulation.
11,000 fewer teachers than in 2020
The analysis of the evolution of the workforce shows that of the 33,323 teachers (accounted for by full-time quotas; two part-time teachers count as one) who joined public education in the 2020-2021 academic year in order to reduce the Group size as provided for by the anticovid regulations, 22,296 remain. That is, 11,027 positions have been eliminated. The territories where the most have been lost have been Madrid, with 5,634 fewer, and Andalusia, 2,645, although they were also the territories that hired the most teachers at the beginning of the pandemic, 7,398 and 6,545 respectively.
The CC OO report reflects that public education enrolls 66.9% of all students, but 72.5% of those with some type of disability, and 75.4% of children and adolescents with specific educational needs. educational support for other types of causes, such as “socio-educational vulnerability” (77.9%) or “serious lack of knowledge of the language of learning” (83.7%).
The union proposes, to improve educational inclusion and correct the imbalance that public education assumes, that all students with specific educational support needs count “double for ratio purposes in all groups.” “This has been done in the past and is still done in some administrations, in some stages and only with students with special needs associated with disabilities,” the report states.
Approving this measure would mean incorporating 34,717 teachers into public education. Added to other reinforcements that the union demands, 21,177 from Therapeutic Pedagogy and Hearing and Language, 10,026 counselors, and 18,995 professionals to cover the new figure of coexistence coordinator of the centers, Workers’ Commissions proposes hiring a total of 84,915 new teachers and educators in a phased manner over a period of four or five years. The cost of doing so would amount to around 3,566,000 million euros, 0.27% of the 2022 GDP.
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