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The federal centre must become a guarantor for financing in the education sector

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The protest action organised last week by trade unions of budget sector workers was a success, declared Alexander Shishlov, Chairman of the State Duma Education and Science Committee at a press conference on March 5, 2003. - The Government agreed that the draft concept for the wages of budget workers should contain federal state guarantees.

"The YABLOKO faction and the committee which I am honoured to chair categorically opposed from the very outset the draft concept in its initial form, - noted Shishlov. - We are satisfied that the State Duma has at long last adopted the same position by passing recently the corresponding resolution." "But we should not be lulled into a false sense of security until the state federal guarantees are clearly worded [in the concept] and efficient mechanisms for the wages of budget workers are developed," stressed the deputy. According to Shishlov, representatives from the Government, the State Duma and the trade unions should work together, for example, within the framework of a trilateral commission, over the development of the reform plan.

The Chairman of the Education and Science Committee also assessed the President's draft law "On Amendments and Addenda to Some Legislative Acts of the Russian Federation Regarding the Financing of the Institutions of Secondary Education" adopted by the State Duma in the first reading on March 5, 2003.

"This law is extremely important, said Shishlov, - as it should clearly determine the responsibilities of the authorities at all levels, both federal, regional and municipal, regarding financing for education. YABLOKO supports it in the first reading. And amendments to the second reading should, in our view, contain the same state federal guarantees, i.e. the responsibility of the federal centre regarding school financing. One possible option here is to switch to federal level responsibility for the financing of secondary education in accordance with state educational standards. The requisite funds required should be envisaged in the federal budget and be allotted to the federation subjects as special subventions."

Another deputy from the YABLOKO faction Sergei Mitrokhin supported Shishlov’s position, adding that YABLOKO had always insisted on transferring the financing of education to the federal centre.


See also:

Reform in Education
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