Less money, teachers and seats: Bottle’s new blow to public music schools

  • The specifications for the course that starts in September includes new budget cuts.
  • The companies that provide the service, the teachers and the parents of the students accuse the City Council of wanting to end the model.
  • The companies that manage the public schools of music and dance of the capital do not consider participating in the contest.
  • In 2012, 6,200 students enrolled and there was a waiting list of 2,000.

 Assembly of music teachers and parents at the school of Arganzuela to take measures against cuts in the service proposed by the Madrid City Council. JORGE PARIS

The 13 public schools of music and dance of Madrid capital can no longer. After finishing the course with great difficulty, the City Council has dealt a new blow through a new list of conditions (published at the end of June) which, according to the companies that manage the service, prevents maintaining the model and quality.

In 2012, the City Council withdrew the 3.6 million that it contributed to Música Creativa and Soto Mesa, the current contractors. The municipal justification is that this was a “non-essential” service and that some public services, in the words of Mayor Ana Botella, would be “for those who can afford them”.

This amount was two thirds of the actual cost of the service. The rest, up to 5.5 million, was paid by users. To compensate the cessation of funding, the Consistory proposed to triple the prices , but the companies refused and opted to lower the salary to their employees by 14% on average and incur losses (700,000 euros in the case of Creative Music) to avoid scare away users Finally, the prices only rose one third of what was expected, but they did not prevent that there were free spaces and that the waiting list of 2,000 people disappeared.

Less investment per student

For the next academic year there is no room for maneuver and Música Creativa and Soto Mesa consider not showing up for the contest.

If nothing changes, the subjects of 3rd Stage Language, Grouping and workshops increase 1.50 euros per month (21.50 euros in total). Basic Training, 2nd Stage Language and Musical Initiation will cost 1.70, 2.50 and 3 euros more, respectively (46.70, 21.50 and 33 euros). Special Education , meanwhile, recorded an increase of 6.5 euros (41.50). Instrumental Training Stage 2 only increases 60 cents (60.60 euros), the 3rd stage remains and only Instrumental Initiation low (7 euros less, up to 53 euros).

From now on, the City not only stops paying the costs of the centers (water, electricity, gas, heating and telephone with a value of 138,000 euros), but also imposes on the companies the payment of a fee of 34,000 euros for the use of the facilities. The Consistory justifies that they can pay it because the costs of providing the service will fall from 5.5 million to 3.6 and the revenues will increase by 700,000 euros due to the price increase.

The City Council has reduced the offer of places in schools by 152. The affected ones claim that the Administration’s accounts are a trap. The increase in income, they explain, would only be achieved assuming that the 6,065 seats -152 fewer-are available in all the sections, which last year did not happen. On the other hand, the 3.6 million recorded as cost imply an investment per student of 600 euros , when the previous year was 924 euros. “How does the City Council lower costs? Inviting us to dismiss teachers with experience and acquired rights,” lamented Amelia Caro, director of Creative Music.

The statement, in fact, eliminates the additional points received by companies that promise to keep all staff (more than 200 workers) and increases the importance of the economic offer from 20 to 30% (the more you get the lower cost for the municipal coffers). “They want new companies to hire young teachers and pay them as if they were instructors, they want to end the model and turn this into workshops, not music and dance schools,” adds Caro.

The new conditions do not stop there. The schedule is extended by one hour (from 15.00 to 22.00 instead of 16.30 to 21.30), but plans to use the schools outside of school hours disappear and complementary activities are eliminated . Neither do extra teacher training or free student concerts matter anymore. Instead, it will be more valued to winners able to give between 8 and 40 scholarships to students, as long as the money comes out of their own budget.

“We do not want the quality to go down”

Last Friday, parents of students and teachers held an assembly in one of the classrooms of the Arganzuela school. In it they agreed to send the City Council a manifesto demanding the maintenance of these centers in decent conditions.

Teachers and parents will send a manifesto to the City Council “We do not want quality to go down Last year there were parents who had to take their children out because they did not get the money, ” says Ignacio Vigueras, president of the student association and with a daughter who studies piano. “We have lowered the salary and now it is useless, we have many possibilities to go to the street “, complains the director of one of the schools.

For Pilar Lago, professor of the University of Distance Education (UNED) and member of the Professional School of Pedagodos and Psychopedagogues of Madrid, the deterioration of the musical education supposes an important prejudice for the students: “The music is physical and mathematics. to develop understanding, communication and emotions, without it, children are closer to isolation. “

Another mouthful to the public

This is a new step in the policy of saving and cuts of the City Council of Mdrid. Ana Botella has increased the number of elderly people who pay for telecare from 2% to 21% . The sports centers and swimming pools, which suffer from lack of conservation and material , have gone up 10% on average and up to 25% in some cases. The mayor is privatizing her management. The locals pay more for the rubbish rate even though the cubes are no longer collected every day. They also cost more parking meters (+ 9%) and IBI (+ 6.7% on average) . In addition, there is a municipal plan to sell public, solar, parking spaces and even tables to pay the debt.