SPD parliamentary group leader stops austerity plan: Berlin schools keep their funds flexible – Berlin

A big sigh of relief from the 683 public schools in Berlin. The reason for the relief was the promise made Wednesday by SPD faction leader Raed Saleh that he would cancel the controversial emergency fund cut: “The emergency fund cut was wrong. The errors are there to be corrected, ”Saleh said, referring to the Senate budget bill.

The Social Democrat justified the intervention by saying that “schools need flexible funds”. The principals, with whom he was conversing, had confirmed this. According to information from the Tagesspiegel, on Monday there was a renewed appeal from all six school management associations at the top of the parliamentary groups: since the savings project became known, they had protested several times against the loss of their only funds. flexible.

“We will reverse that in the final round in June,” Saleh told Tagesspiegel, confirming his announcement to the Berliner Morgenpost. There she also claimed Wednesday that the Green-led financial administration had “cheated” SPD education senator Astrid-Sabine Busse in budget talks. The cut was “a mistake of the administration”, although Saleh did not want to explain whether he attested this “mistake” to the educational or financial administration.

The Senate Finance Department, led by Daniel Wesener (Verdi), contradicted Saleh’s account that he “screwed” Ms. Busse during budget talks. Rather, “the changes to the disposal fund would reflect the priorities set by the education administration,” said finance administration spokesman Frederik Bombosch upon request. It is not “true that the corresponding initiative came from the taxman”.

Regardless, however, the districts had also expressed a willingness to find a new regulation for structural maintenance. In practice, problems had arisen in previous years because the expenditure of the funds which form part of the available fund generated a “relatively high administrative burden”.

The misunderstanding has been crossed

In recent weeks, the criticism of the planned cuts has not stopped. A lack of understanding was expressed on all sides, although the red-green-red coalition partners avoided an open position not to anticipate the internal budget talks. However, there were clear words from the opposition: the independent and self-sufficient school would be “de facto buried,” for example CDU education expert Katharina Günther-Wünsch had warned.

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Green education policy spokesperson Marianne Burkert-Eulitz commented on Saleh’s announcement saying she was “glad that Mr. Saleh also recognized the importance of the disposal fund and committed to it.” However, she cannot yet say how it will be regulated, because she has just found out.

He was “very grateful” to Raed Saleh for speaking so clearly in favor of the independent school and disposal fund and that education experts “supported this demand,” said SPD education expert Marcel Hopp. Saleh was right that the cut to the emergency fund had to be corrected before the last round of budgets. Because specialized politicians could not “simply reallocate such a large sum and cut it somewhere else” during the consultations.

Schools should have only 3,000 of 26,000 euros

This is about 13 million euros that schools should lose. According to the first draft budget, which dates back to the mandate of Busse’s predecessor, Sandra Scheeres (SPD), they should have kept only two million euros in flexible funding for their priorities, which would have amounted to a lump sum of 3,000 euros per school. per year – compared to up to € 26,000 so far.

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Order now for free

However, the education administration had always maintained that the loss was not up to 23,000 euros, but less, because part of the money, namely the money for minor structural maintenance, had not been lost but was still available. The only difference is that the item does not go directly into the school account, but into the district budget, as the school and building authorities are already involved in processing these construction and repair orders. The finance department argues the same way.

The schools, however, do not accept this representation, as they would have less free disposal of funds as soon as a single solution merged into the district budgets: at the moment there are still disputes with the district offices since the days of the austerity years, which are now starting over.

Principal: “I am very happy that we have been heard”

“I am very pleased that the SPD parliamentary group is using its parliamentary leeway here. After the Senate decision, we have always been in contact with parliamentary representatives in the background because we know how painful the cuts to the disposable fund for schools have been, “said Busse Saleh’s announcement.

The schools were also very satisfied. “I am very happy that we have been heard,” said Sven Zimmerschied for the Association of Secondary School Directors. He was also protested by the associations of directors of studies, community schools, vocational schools, the interest group for the Berlin school administrations and, more recently, the newly created association of elementary school administrations.

All six associations had pointed out that this was the only money they could actually dispose of freely. Their commitment is correspondingly varied – for example in the further training, supervision and coaching courses that are part of the school program, up to the offers of cooperation in the field of sport and exercise, such as “Alba teaches”.

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