Isabel Díaz Ayuso did not inform the national PP that she was going to change the voucher-scholarship model in post-compulsory education. Up to three sources confirm to EL MUNDO that those responsible for education in Genoa were unaware of the decision of the Madrid president to extend this direct aid from concerted schools to private ones and to triple the level of income required so that middle and upper class families also can be benefited.

The measure has sufficient depth to open a reflection both in the party and in the educational community because it involves betting on a model of direct aid similar to the school check, which Vox defends, something that in practice makes it impossible to fulfill the electoral promise of the PP to implement the concert in the Baccalaureate.

The sources consulted in the PP reiterate their commitment to freedom of education and the right of parents to have their children receive training in accordance with their convictions, and assure that “the only legal formula that gives security is the concert.” They remember that this party “has always defended and continues to defend the concert” against the school check (direct aid to families so that they can take their children to the school they want). Why?

To begin with, there is the legal robustness of the concert, a multi-year funding mechanism, compared to the check, which is added or removed each year depending on budget availability. “Families and schools are uneasy that one course may have the help and another course does not and that forces them to change schools,” they point out. In addition, the concert is not so subject to the risk of political fluctuations: it enjoys so much legal coverage that it has resisted successive attempts to eliminate it. There is the case of the Valencian Community: the PSOE wanted to remove the concerts that the PP put in the Baccalaureate when it governed, but lost the battle in court and they still remain today.

On the other hand, the concert implies a series of controls and requirements – for example, the rules for admitting students are the same as in the public one – that direct aid does not have. “With the concert it is the family that chooses the center and with the school check it is the other way around: the center chooses the student,” the sources point out.

«The only legal formula that gives security is the concert»

The party, in any case, supports Ayuso in the face of criticism from the coalition government, which has come out en bloc to attack his measure. In the PP they believe that it is positive that “the base of students who are going to be able to study in post-compulsory is expanded” and they deny that these aids harm low-income people because “they have preference” over the others. They value, on the other hand, the high budgetary effort (it has increased from nine to 43.5 million euros). And they assume that Ayuso’s scholarship check lies in the budget negotiation with Vox, although they do not renounce at the national level their electoral commitment to arrange the Baccalaureate.

The formula chosen by Madrid, in addition to recovering the old dichotomy between the school check and the concert, has opened the door to other debates: whether post-compulsory education should be financed with public money and whether the aid should be allocated only to low incomes or universalized (The new criteria allow a couple with a child with an income of up to 107,739 euros to have a scholarship). It has also aggravated the tension between the private and the concerted.

“Families are uneasy that one course has help and another does not”

«Scholarships as a complement (in addition to) to the concert regime suppose a further step in the freedom of education, but in substitution of it (instead of) they cause that only those who have certain resources can choose, and that is not freedom of education constitutional”, wrote yesterday on Twitter the lawyer Jesús Muñoz de Priego, spokesman for Más Plurales.

The Association of Private and Independent Schools (Cicae), which supports Ayuso, considers “incoherent that the concerted party criticizes these aids in an exacerbated way when their families are the most benefited.” “We trust that they will understand that healthy competition in a stage that is as private in their schools as in private ones benefits families,” she says.

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