Piggy banks appropriate education still fuller than agreed
At the end of 2021, the regional partnerships for appropriate education still had 131 million euros in potentially excessive reserves in the bank. The surplus piggy banks are indeed shrinking, but a lot less than had been agreed.
The reduction of reserves is now 37,5 million behind the initial plan. Partnerships point to, among other things, the teacher shortage and the extra government investment in education. By the end of 2023, the excessive buffers would have been fully deployed, but that 'striving' is also gradually being adjusted. It is now expected that the organizations together will still have 35 million euros too much in cash.
This can be deduced from the latest monitor published this month, for which all 151 partnerships in primary and secondary education provided data. It is the third interim report since the partnerships jointly submitted a plan in early 2021 to accelerate their excess buffers in a few years. to be finished, under pressure of political The Hague. The starting point is a signal limit drawn up by the Education Inspectorate, an upper limit for 'possibly excessive' reserves.
Last year, the piggy banks shrank by 29 million euros, much less than joint ventures previously indicated. This brought the surplus buffers to 131 million (primary education: 60 million, secondary education 71 million), while the 184 million euros of late 2019. Incidentally, the figures are not all final yet; some joint ventures had not yet adopted the annual accounts when the monitor was drawn up.
The organizations put forward various explanations. They point to the extra money that has been going to education from various sides over the past eighteen months. 'The resources that the partnership wants to invest from the excessive resources are in addition to the large sums of money that the schools can spend, for example, from the National Education Programme', according to the monitor. At the same time, due to the teacher shortage, schools have to squeeze in all sorts of turns to get enough hands in the classroom.
It was also more difficult for schools during the corona pandemic to get started with projects that created partnerships to spend the piggy banks 'in an efficient way'. In addition, there are organizations that consciously put on the brakes for fear of future setbacks. 'They fear sharply rising costs for the participation of pupils in specialized education in the coming years and are forced to maintain a financial buffer for this.'
The number of students in special education has been increasing for years. Due to this increase, that number is now higher than at the start of suitable education pale this year from figures from the Education Inspectorate.
The interim report does not provide insight into the excessive reserves per partnership; the organizations are anonymised. A complete overview can be distilled from the financial data files that DUO publishes every autumn. Those have been delayed and are not expected until mid-October.
The signaling value of the inspection is not an absolute standard. If institutions have a good reason why they temporarily exceed the limit, the inspectorate can approve this.
Also read: AOb withdraws from consultation on appropriate education with ministry