RIGA - The Education and Science Ministry will hand over an incomplete funding model to local governments for testing and for another experiment, said Inga Vanaga, chairperson of the Latvian Trade Union of Education and Science Employees (LIZDA), in an interview with the Latvian public television today.
Vanaga said that the approach Money Follows Pupil should to be abandoned because, as time and experience shows, it has many shortcomings. But now a new model for financing programs will be handed over to the municipalities, which is incomplete, and is seen as another experiment.
LIZDA is trying to persuade the Education and Science Ministry to correct the mistakes. In the new model, the ministry has not included one of the strike demands - further workload balancing.
"Local governments will test an imperfect model and we do not want to allow it to be another experiment that will strike the sector," said Vanaga, adding that LIZDA hopes that everything will be resolved and there will be no need to protest, which the union is ready to do.
As reported, the new teachers' wage financing model Program at School could be introduced from September 1 this year, the Education and Science Ministry said last week.
At a press conference representatives of the ministry repeatedly said that the new pay model for teachers would ensure "fair and equal pay, regardless of the location of the school or the number of pupils".
Currently, the amount of money that reaches an educational institution depends on the number of pupils and the municipality's decision on the redistribution of the state budget allocation between schools. The amount of funding is also influenced by the educational ecosystem in the municipality. In the ministry's view, this arrangement creates unequal opportunities to provide quality education in educational institutions, as well as equal and competitive remuneration for teachers.
Under the new funding model, the amount of funding will be calculated for each educational institution depending on the program implemented. This will allow schools to receive the full funding needed to implement a program.
Although the target allocation for teachers' salaries will technically continue to be channeled through local governments, they will no longer be able to redistribute the target allocation within the local school network as they see fit. If a municipality, as the founder of a school, decides to continue to maintain an educational institution that does not meet the criteria set by the state, it will have to provide proportional funding.
Currently, municipalities distribute the state's target allocation for teachers' salaries to educational institutions in accordance with the procedure approved by the municipality, taking into account only the lowest teachers' salary rate set by the state.