Madrid approves a law so that textbooks are free

  • As of the 2018-2019 academic year in public and private centers.
  • The loan system will benefit more than 615,000 students.
  • It will mean a saving of between 250 and 300 euros per child and academic year: “It is a respite for the families of Madrid on the September slope”.
  • The bill promoted by Citizens has had the support of all the groups in the Assembly.

Madrilenian students of Primary, Secondary and Basic Vocational Training will have free textbooks from the 2018/2019 academic year. This is reflected in the proposed law promoted in the Assembly of Madrid by Citizens, which was approved on Thursday after having been supported by all groups (PP, PSOE, and Podemos) in the Committee on Education and Sports after introducing some changes into the initial text.

Citizens estimated that the contribution to the program should be between 40 and 50 million euros in the first year The rule, which will affect more than 615,000 students in public and private schools, will provide the Community of Madrid with a free loan system of textbooks that will be universal, since until now the aid system was applied based on income. “The aid is very small, almost residual, this proposal looks at the middle classes, it will mean savings of between 250 and 300 euros per child and academic year, a respite for Madrid families on the September slope”, says the spokesman for Citizens in the regional chamber, Ignacio Aguado, who stresses that “the law defends the principles of universality and voluntariness.”

“The families that participate will not do it in a compulsory way as it happens in places like Navarra”, adds Aguado.

In order to benefit from the benefits of the system, interested parents will have to donate their children’s textbooks in good condition at the end of the next academic year 2017/2018 so that other children can use them. With this action, they will be part of the loan system and will receive the copies corresponding to the following course. Families must commit to taking care of the copies during the loan period. The management and distribution of books will be done in the school itself. “This will also teach children to learn the values of taking care of textbooks,” adds Aguado.

The Community of Madrid will finance the acquisition of the textbooks necessary for the start-up of the loan system, once those already contributed by the parents of the students have been deducted. Citizens estimate that the contribution to the program should be between 40 and 50 million euros in the first year, although this amount will foreseeably decrease in successive years.

Information campaign

Throughout the next course, the regional government must adopt all the normative and organizational measures for the application of the system as of the following course. Communication and awareness campaigns will be carried out by the educational centers to transmit to the educational community the essential aspects of the functioning of the system.

This norm began its journey almost a year ago. On June 23, 2016, it was already put to the vote in the Assembly for its consideration. Then, PSOE and Podemos voted in favor of the text and the PP abstained arguing that it was an electoral measure. The proposal went ahead with 76 votes in favor. The modifications that have been introduced in the last year have managed to convince the popular to give their support to the final text. Among the changes, highlights the extension of the standard to Basic Vocational Training and the inclusion in the text of digital books.

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