The chaos in the granting of the dining room scholarships of the Community of Madrid, chaired by Isabel Díaz Ayuso, will cost the Executive an extra effort of 17.2 million euros, as reported this Monday in the official regional Bulletin (BOCM). Thus, the Ministry of Education has been forced to raise 39.2 million euros to 56.4 the budget of that item due to the problems detected at the beginning of the course, when a system change multiplied the errors in the applications and threatened to leave vulnerable families without this help. To solve the problem, the Government decided to grant the scholarship to all applicants who had registered their request on time, regardless of whether or not they met the requirements. Covering this demand implies increasing the budget by 44%.
What happened to make the applicants start the course without knowing if they would be entitled to the scholarship?
The Government of Isabel Díaz Ayuso attributed the delay in resolving the requests to the implementation of a new digital system that debuted this 2023-2024 academic year. Thus, the system of reduced prices and payment exemptions that had been used until now changed to another one of direct award scholarships. However, the new mechanism has caused many of the applications to present formal defects or requirements by mistake in the correction period.
For example, it was claimed to single mothers who corrected the request because the father did not appear in the family book or not having filed a divorce decree.
These difficulties provoked criticism from different organizations, such as the FAPA Giner de los Ríoswhich assured that “the regulations were poorly drafted and the subsequent patches have not solved the serious gaps created,” or Workers’ Commissions (CC OO), which accused the Executive of taking “flip flops” with its decisions.
✅ The Community of Madrid grants dining scholarships to all families who have requested it for this 2023/24 academic year.
👉 Benefits more than 107,000 requests within the admission period and who will receive the corresponding amount.
— Community of Madrid (@ComunidadMadrid) October 18, 2023
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The increase now decided, which was approved in the government council last week, will allow all families that have requested direct aid this year, more than 107,000 within the application admission period, to be beneficiaries throughout the school year. , indicate in the Ministry of Education, Science and Universities. The decision promoted by the department he directs Emilio Viciana It has retroactive effect to the beginning of the course.
However, the regional government does not seem to be clear about what economic effort this bet will really entail.
“This credit may be increased in the event that there are requests that meet the requirements established in the regulatory standards and cannot be met with the credit provided for in the previous paragraph,” reads the order published this Monday in the BOCM.
The school menu in the Community costs 979 euros per course (5.5 euros per day) and There are two types of aid dining room based on income and certain characteristics, such as being a refugee or victim of terrorism: the most needy groups are guaranteed 100% of the price of lunch and others pay a co-payment.
The Community allowed a month to pass between the start of the course and the decision to universalize the dining scholarships. That time filled many families with anguish and hunger who rely on school food as their children’s main source of sustenance.
However, the delay in granting dining scholarships is not a unique case in the regional Administration. For example, It is already a tradition that requests for scholarships to study Early Childhood Education, Vocational Training or Baccalaureate in private centers are resolved when the course has already started.which forces families to decide where they will enroll their children without knowing what the cost will be.
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The post first appeared on elpais.com