School segregation has become a major problem in the Catalan school. "Today there are more schools guetizadas ", the Síndic de Greuges, Rafael Ribó, warned in 2016 in a very difficult report. He referred the Catalan Ombudsman to the schools that, due to the high concentration of immigrant students they have in their classrooms, look like ghettos. So, orNine hundred Catalan schools, almost twice as many as in 2006, had more than 50% of foreign students.
The Catalan Ombudsman's study alerted the entire educational community and, sponsored by Ribó, an institutional pact began to take shape. put a stop to this phenomenon. The comings and goings of some actors and political instability have delayed the implementation of an agreement that this Monday has seen, finally, the light. The Pact against Escola Segregationr, which has the favor of the Government and the opposition of PP, C's, CUP, the USTEC union and the Federation of Family Associations FAPAC, is committed to review the fees charged by the school agreed, to guarantee free to the most disadvantaged students and fulminate the live enrollment – students who arrive in the middle of the course – in centers of high complexity.
"The number one problem in education in Catalonia is the lack of equal opportunities", ditches Ribó. And it had to be stopped. The plan has 189 measures to reduce school segregation rates and a follow-up commission to ensure compliance with the document, which has been supported by much of the Catalan political arch, almost all municipalities with more than 10,000 inhabitants, unions and entities of the educational community.
Proposals to address segregation cover all stages of education, from pre-enrollment in school. In fact, the plan includes one of the measures announced by the counselor of the branch, Josep Bargalló: a new decree of admissions, which regulates the access criteria and the maximum proportion of students with special educational needs in high complexity centers. Although the new decree is still in the kitchen and will not see the light until the 2020-2021 cycle, the Government will already apply the next course some measures such as extra points for chronic digestive diseases, celiac disease or having relatives (parents, siblings) center. It remains, however, to have an impact on other important proposals such as limiting the quota of students with specific needs in highly complex centers or the lack of schooling for live enrollment – students who are new to the middle of the course – in this type of school .
The pact also addresses one of the most controversial issues of the educational model and in which no counselor has dared to lay his hands on yet: the fees charged by the concerted school. These fees clash with the principle of free public system, but the agreed upon centers justify that the public resources they receive are not enough to cover the schooling of the students. The plan foresees an audit to quantify the real price of a school place and, in any case, to guarantee the free of charge for the most disadvantaged students. It also demands that these amounts and concepts be published and advocates moving towards the elimination of these fees.
The agreement also contemplates another of the measures announced by Bargalló regarding the financing of the concerted centers: those that assume more co-responsibility in terms of balanced schooling, will also receive more resources. The Government wants to distribute public resources according to the socio-economic reality of the centers. This proposal, however, has clashed head-on with the position of the USTEC union -majority in the public school- or FAPAC. "Far from protecting public education as the sole guarantor of the fundamental right to education on an equal footing, the document focuses on proposing economic measures to consolidate the private subsidized centers." That these centers receive public funding is the formula that implies that the public administrations collaborate to maintain the segregation ", FAPAC has denounced in a press release.
It will be necessary to improve the financing of the whole system and, therefore, some measures require a budgetary investment that, for the time being, the Government can not guarantee – this year's Budgets have not been approved. For example, the reduction of ratios in centers of high complexity or an extraordinary injection of resources to this type of school – an increase is already applied, but the document indicates that it should be higher.