At today’s sitting, the Riigikogu (Parliament of Estonia) approved the amendments to the Private Schools Act. The state will continue to support the covering of the operating expenses of private schools providing general education until the end of 2019. Private schools providing education for pupils with special educational needs will be paid activity support until 2023.
The Act on Amendments to the Private Schools Act, the Youth Work Act and the Basic Schools and Upper Secondary Schools Act (142 SE) was initiated by the Government. 61 members of the Riigikogu voted in favour of the Act, 27 voted against, and there was 1 abstention.
Pursuant to the Act, participation in the covering of the operating expenses of private schools will become voluntary for local governments from the beginning of 2017. The city or the rural municipality may support private schools if the local government finds that the school is needed by the community. When a private school is established, the local government of the location of the private school will have the right to give an opinion on the future private school when processing the activity licence of the school.
The state’s activity support for private schools during the transition period will be 75 percent of the average activity support of the location of the school, in total about 13.6 million euro. The support intended for schools varies by local governments, but it will not exceed 87 euro per pupil in a month.
The activity support for private schools providing education for pupils with special educational needs will total 3 million euro in the transitional period. The support per one pupil is based on the estimated cost of the operating expenses of one student place.
Besides activity support, the state will continue to pay education support to private schools on the same bases as to municipal schools.
The Act on Amendments to the Private Schools Act, the Youth Work Act and the Basic Schools and Upper Secondary Schools Act will enter into force on 1 January 2017.
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