Each Madrid family will face an average expense of 827 euros for the ‘back to school’, which means that the region is positioned as the community in which «more is spent on education», compared to about 481 euros of spending on this matter on the national average. This has been stated, in statements to Ep, the president of the
FAPA Francisco Giner de los Ríos, Mari Carmen Morillas, based on 2020 data provided by the School Council. In this budget, Morillas has highlighted the weight of textbooks, which can reach around 300 euros per child per course.
However, he stressed that textbooks are “one more resource” within the family amount allocated to education, although they are not “essential” since there are schools that use a series of educational projects of their own. In this sense, he recalled that the Community has the Accede book loan, of which he has assured that “it does not guarantee gratuity” in teaching, since families have to continue spending money on other materials. “We believe that public education at least in compulsory education should be free”, has asserted.
In addition, he has ensured that to join the program, “quite exhaustive” requirements must be met, since he has pointed out that in a public center, families can apply for these grants, while in concerted ones, only the management of the center is in charge. Among the requirements, he has also cited the delivery of textbooks “almost without having touched them”, something that he calls “quite complex.” “It generates enough complications in families in a complex socio-economic situation because facing these payments for them is a world,” he said.
Morillas has indicated that there are also other alternatives such as textbook banks. Specifically, in the FAPA Giner de los Ríos they have one of them, to which are added AMPAs and city councils, among which Fuenlabrada has mentioned, which offers aid.
Prioritize education and investment
Along these lines, the president of FAPA has assured that more investment is needed in education and that it is a “priority” for the administration because “it is the only way.” For this, he stressed that “involvement and political will” is needed. “In the Community of Madrid we have been dragging shortcomings for many years and we always ask that the administration prioritize education and invest,” he continued.
Regarding textbooks, he considers that they are “very expensive” and that they also vary in price according to age, since in some cycles expendable books are needed, that can be manipulated and on which to write. This amount can be around 300 euros for one child per course.
“The truth is a subject that creates many headaches for many families”, has apostilled.
For their part, sources from the Ministry of Education have informed EP that about 60% of the students in public educational centers in the Community of Madrid benefited from the Accede Program in the 2019/20 academic year, the first in which This system was universally implemented in the compulsory educational stages: Primary, Compulsory Secondary Education, Special Education and Basic FP.
During that course there were nearly 300,000 beneficiaries, specifically 293,960 euros, a figure that has risen to 392,574 in 2020/21. In addition, the Madrid Executive allocated a total of 31,895,773 euros to the Access Program in the 2019/20 academic year.