During the debate it also emerged that Arie Slob for Primary and Secondary Education is threatening to take the money if it is not spent on extra care for students who need it. The partnerships, in which schools are in place to offer students extra care or guidance, are now pocketing that money for so-called appropriate education. Of the 152 partnerships, 136 have (far) too much money on the shelf, says Slob.
Spending money in classes
Last week, education union AOb already calculated that the total amount is 179 million euros, in addition to the agreed standard for reserves. That money, says Slob, should be spent in the classes to help students with behavioral problems, autism or dyslexia, for example. “Alliances must immediately make plans in which they indicate how they will spend the money for the purpose for which it is intended,” said the Christian Union minister in the debate.
If those plans do not materialize or are not good enough, the money will be withdrawn from the partnerships from next year. “It only has to be over once”, Slob said. It is not yet known whether the money will go directly to the schools, which is argued by part of the Lower House. In the near future, it will also be worked out whether the removal of the money is a punitive measure for a specific partnership or whether it will apply to all 152 partnerships.
Slob says that in the autumn memorandum he is trying to arrange extra money for the teachers’ grant, which gives existing teachers the opportunity to follow an in-depth training at a college or university. Last summer, 2,400 teachers were rejected for such a grant because the subsidy pot was empty, to the astonishment of the Lower House. Although he had twice transferred money from the teachers’ grant to tackling the teacher shortage, he was under the assumption that enough money would remain.
Since September, a parliamentary majority has been trying to force Slob to solve this problem. Slob says he has no money for that, however. Even now he was involved in ‘expectation management’: he cannot guarantee that the Ministry of Finance will allocate money to him in the autumn memorandum, but he does see ‘opportunities’. He also said the money would come too late because of the teachers who missed out on a scholarship because the school year has already started. The Chamber previously suggested compensating teachers who had paid for the training out of their own pocket.
SP Member of Parliament Peter Kwint was surprised that the corona road map, which the cabinet presented on Tuesday evening, does not include a single scenario in which schools close their doors again. According to the SP’er, the virus can circulate somewhere in such a way that closure is sensible. “Now there is a school where five children in a class have tested positive. The rest go back to school the next day. ” He thinks that ‘a red line’ should be drawn. “From here it is wise to close the schools. However much we want to prevent that. ”
Minister Slob wants to do everything in his power to prevent a new school closure, such as in March. According to him, schools can already determine themselves that they no longer consider it responsible. “That’s not nice, but it already happens in a single place.” If it is really necessary, says Slob, the schools will close again nationally.
Slob did not want to promise that the central final exams will be spread next year because of the corona virus. D66 pleaded on this news site on Tuesday to take the final exams not in two weeks, but in a maximum of three months so that students do not have to sit in the gym and have more preparation time. In March, the minister decided to cancel the final exams for this year. To prevent that coming year, Slob is working on scenarios for the final exam, he stated, which will be ready in three weeks. The distribution scenario is also included in this.
Slob does find it ‘an interesting idea’ to open the examination line of the LAKS school students earlier this year. According to D66 Member of Parliament Paul van Meenen, many students are already worried, for example about what happens if they have to be quarantined during the final exam because of a corona infection in themselves or in their family.
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