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Some of Latvia’s municipalities may lack finances for planned wage increase

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Baltic news, News from Latvia, BNN.LV, BNN-NEWS.COM, BNN-NEWS.RUAfter a formal re-organization of the school network, some of Latvia’s municipalities may lack the finances to afford the planned wage increase for all teachers, according to what Education and Science Minister Kārlis Šadurskis said during a meeting of Latvian Council of Local and Regional Governments.

The minister reminded those present at the meeting that the government agreed to have finances saved from school network’s reorganization invested in the increase of wages for teachers in exchange for an adequate amount of co-financing from the state.

«Looking at decisions made by municipalities in regards to reorganizing the school network this year, it becomes clear that the number of schools to reorganize is rather large. However, the situation seems to differ from municipality to municipality. We have a situation when several education institutions do not change the location for education processes – schools are put under the same roof on paper. This does not help save resources,» said the politician.

The minister said ‘very early’ estimates about the real economic benefit show that it will be around EUR 1.5 million a year. According to the minister, this is not enough to afford an increase of teachers’ wages.

«If the state also provides EUR 1.5 million, it becomes clear EUR 3 million is not enough to meet the teachers’ wage increase schedule,» admits Šadurskis.

He said that Education and Science Ministry is currently looking for opportunities to provide additional grants to municipalities that perform school network reorganization to a full capacity, with a real economic benefit.

As it is known, with plans to reorganize the country’s school network, Latvia’s municipalities have decided to either merge or liquidate 59 education institutions.

Education and Science Ministry has coordinated municipalities’ decisions in regards to reorganization of education institutions, including 12 decisions regarding liquidation of certain schools, merging schools together, as well as founding two more education institutions. A number of decisions by municipalities regarding school network changes were coordinated with the ministry last year.


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