The President of the Government, Pedro Sánchez, has announced this Saturday a new budget item for educational scholarships that amounts to 2,500 million euros. This is the largest budget in history for aid to education. Sánchez announced this investment during the presentation ceremony of the PSOE candidate for mayor of Zaragoza, Lola Ranera, and which was also attended by the President of Aragon, Javier Lambán.
“Having a quality public education is also a right of our young people, regardless of their family’s checking account,” declared the Prime Minister when announcing that next Tuesday the Council of Ministers will approve “the largest game in history of democracy in scholarship games”. According to Sánchez, the 2,520 million euros will benefit one million young students in our country “regardless of where they live and so that everyone can access education on equal terms.”
The President of the Government has also announced that a “universal” aid item of 400 euros will be approved for students who suffer from some type of disability, a total of 200 million euros from which a total of 250,000 students will benefit. Sánchez has added from Zaragoza that with this new item, the budget for scholarships will be increased by 18% compared to last year and 1,000 million euros more than when the Popular Party governed.
Sánchez mentioned in his speech various current political issues such as pensions, workers’ wages or universal health care. With the announcement of the grants, he also consolidates Education as one of the sectors in which public aid is expanded, as before have been food, fuel or energy. Since the beginning of his term, the socialist president has made scholarships one of the ways to reverse the effects of the cuts promoted by previous governments of the Popular Party.
Specifically, from the maximum income amounts with which you can access the scholarships, to the academic requirements imposed by the popular minister José Ignacio Wert to obtain aid to access the university. That reform resulted in the denial of aid to thousands of students who could have accessed scholarships for economic reasons but were left out for academic reasons.
“There are different ways to deal with a crisis, and what the right did is rescue the banks that failed while salaries for the middle classes were frozen,” declared the socialist leader. Sánchez has highlighted that in the face of all the measures implemented by his Government, the PP has not “raised its shoulder” but has opposed the increase in the Minimum Interprofessional Wage and pensions, which have increased by 8% and 8.5% respectively.
“Scholarships for those who need them”
Last summer, the Government of Sánchez already announced an extra aid of an additional 100 euros per month, between September and December, for all recipients of a study aid scholarship over 16 years of age. That amount amounted to 400 million euros and placed the scholarship program at 2,124 million euros, which was already the largest in history.
The announcement last July contrasted with the controversial program that the Community of Madrid had just announced at the time, which offers aid to families with more than 100,000 euros of income a year. The threshold of these aids triples that established by the state plan, although it is still unknown if the Council of Ministers will modify the amounts when the new item enters into force. This Saturday, Sánchez has defended that the new aid is “for those who need it, not the scholarships for the rich that are provided by other regional governments.”
The current system establishes three types of aid based on the income level of each household: the highest or level three is set at 32,697 euros per year, the intermediate or level two is for maximum incomes of 30,668 euros and the lower level or one is stands at 16,843 per family. The aid ranges from tuition exemption and economic endowments according to academic performance to a fixed amount due to the need to reside far from the family home or compensation for tuition for the academic year.