Spanish teachers are striking today:
Spanish Education Cuts Explained
Teachers in Madrid are coming out on strike today against the government's cuts in education budgets
The strike - which is supported by the overwhelming majority of teachers is against a 2 hour increase in classroom teaching for no extra pay and the sacking of hundreds of temporary teachers - all of which will have a dire impact on education as the video above explains. Madrid is controlled by the right wing People's Party which is expected to win the forthcoming general election and is pledged to introduce such cutbacks everywhere. The leader of the People's Party - Marioano Rajoy says he will cut taxes for businesses and slash public spending if he is elected.
Spain has an unemployment rate of 21%, the highest in Europe - which has already resulted in mass protests by young people in the last few months, with town square occupations similar to those in Arab countries in the spring.
The state government in Madrid is also pushing through measures to promote so-called 'concertados' - schools which are publicly funded but privately managed - similar to charter schools in the US or academies in the UK - except that many of their students pay fees. They have also given public land to religious organisations to run schools - which is questionable legally since religious bodies are not incorporated in the state. The government of Madrid boasts that it has saved 80 million euros through its cutbacks but at the same time it has given out 90million euros in tax breaks to parents who send their children to private schools.
As Spain looks set to follow Greece, Italy and Ireland towards an ever deepening economic crisis, it is also clear that the people of Spain - including teachers and of course young people are going to fight against the efforts to make public services and the poor pay.
(The video was sent to teachersolidarity from Spain by www.bengalvin.com)