Budgetary cuts to European schools

A note on budgetary cuts to the European schools was sent to President Barroso and Vice President Sefcovic. The note was cosigned by the Local Staff Committee Brussels and all parents associations. R&D was asked to distribute it widely to parents.

Today the report (en) (fr) on  the  European schools System in 2009  has been presented by the Commission to the Culture Committee of the European Parliament.

In particular, the Brussels Local Staff Committe and APEEE would like to meet Barroso and Sefcovic to focus concerns on the following matters:

  1. First and foremost, for 2011 the European Schools should not be asked to absorb the back dated cost of the teachers salary indexation as per the recent court ruling. This cost should have been provisioned for in the school budgets. The failure to do so cannot be assumed by the European schools that are already under pressure. We question the way these amounts have been budgeted as well as the discrepancy between the way the Commission dealt with this issue for its own administrative budget and the budget of the schools, and ask the Budgetary
    Authority to find another solution. For 2012, we urge the Commission and the Budgetary Authority to ensure that the amounts foreseen in the financial programming will not be reduced.
  2. Second, core educational subjects, such the sciences and other BAC related subjects and L2 in all vehicular languages, must not be touched, because this directly affects the chances of our children for further education. We strongly oppose any cuts to the core curriculum or extensions to teaching core subjects by non-native speakers or in non-native languages. This strikes deep into the quality of the European schools as well as into their very “raison d’être” . Already we see BAC results for the larger schools trailing; this trend must not be re-enforced through these cuts. Efficiency savings should be directed at non – BAC related subjects, but not the core curriculum.
  3. Third, cuts must not affect the replacement of teachers. Already the children in the big schools receive less than the stipulated 180 days of education. This will be compounded by the loss of hours due to illness and other teacher absences if the budget does not allow for appropriate replacement. Budgets for teacher replacement are already insufficient, and typically exhausted before mid year – a further example of how the current budgeting process driven by the Commission is not aligned with the reality of the schools needs.
  4. Fourth, cuts must not affect the maintenance of basic infrastructure for providing core services such as canteen, transport, periscolaire activities, nor safety and security measures which are the responsibility of the School system.

The Local Staff Committee would like to meet Barroso and Sefcovic in order to discuss these points.

The future of Europe as a knowledge economy is based on high quality education. R&D is confident that President Barroso will not allow the short term actions of the Commission services and Member States to undermine this principle.

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