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Wednesday 15.08.2018 | Name days: Dzelde, Zenta, Zelda
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Latvian Prime Minister offers no solution for finding additional money for teachers’ wages

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Baltic news, News from Latvia, BNN.LV, BNN-NEWS.COM, BNN-NEWS.RULatvia’s Prime Minister Māris Kučinskis is not yet ready to provide any proposals to help resolve the matter regarding the deficit of finances for the planned increase of teachers’ wages in the country. He says there aren’t enough numbers and analysis results to formulate an opinion.

According to Education and Science Minister Kārlis Šadurskis, there might not be enough money to afford the planned increase of wages for teachers next year. He says it is because some municipalities have only formally reorganized their local school networks. Because of that, the expected budget-saving plan will not come through.

Kučinskis told LNT that he has yet to go through Šadurskis’ words and arguments. He says he does not have the numbers and arguments that would help formulate an opinion about wage rise for teachers. The promise given by the government to allocate the same amount gained from municipalities’ school network reorganization to help increase teachers’ wages remains in effect.

The prime minister admits that if the school network in Latvia is made smaller on paper by merging certain schools, it does not help save money. Latvia is ahead of Europe when it comes to education infrastructure costs – there are a lot of schools, but not many students. He expects from Šadurskis a plan to resolve this situation.

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.


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