How will pre-school and school education be financed in 2021?

By its decision, the Council of Ministers adopted the standards for the activities delegated by the state with natural and value indicators in 2021. The draft law on the state budget is already in the National Assembly. Both documents set basic parameters for the financial support of activities in preschool and school education. What do they foresee?

  • For 2021 in the “Education” sector the standards for financing kindergartens are increased by an average of 14%.
  • The standards for non-specialized schools, vocational high schools and vocational training classes – full-time education and dual system of education, of special schools and centers for special educational support have been increased by an average of 13%.

This increase may cover, above all, the planned increase in teachers’ salaries. In some of the smallest schools, it may not be enough given the need for salaries to be increased by 15% and the availability of long-serving teachers.

Thus, the standard for a class in the most common case of non-specialized schools, such as primary and secondary schools, becomes BGN 50,630. The standard for a class in them increases to BGN 10,774, and the standard for a student – BGN 2,123. The standards in vocational high schools are higher.

The standard for a kindergarten in 2021 will be BGN 31,540, and for the All-day organization group – BGN 6,148. The standard for a child in the optional preschool age is set at BGN 2,887. The standard for the obligatory preschool age is exactly BGN 210 higher.

A novelty from 2021 is the availability of an additional standard to support the payment of fees due by parents for kindergarten in compulsory preschool age. According to the changes made in the Law on Preschool and School Education from September, this age is already four years old, and the municipalities have three years to introduce this requirement. The law provides for the complete abolition or reduction of fees at this age. Therefore, each municipality will receive BGN 174 per child of compulsory preschool age, and at least half of the funds received must be used for the complete abolition of fees – for all children or for a certain group.

The draft law on the state budget in 2021 envisages BGN 800 million more for the education system compared to this year. Thus, the total amount of funds increased from BGN 4.8 billion this year to BGN 5.6 billion next year. The largest amount will go to the last, fourth in a row, increase in teachers’ salaries by about 15% – under this item an additional BGN 360 million is provided, as well as another BGN 57.8 million to increase the salaries of non-teaching staff in schools. Thus, from January 1 next year, the lowest teacher’s salary will be BGN 1,260. The minimum salary for senior teachers will reach BGN 1,300, and for the main ones – BGN 1,350. The principals of kindergartens and schools will receive not less than BGN 1,535. and the deputy principals – BGN 1,420. The total funds for the delegated educational activities, which will be available to the municipalities and which are mostly for salaries, are about BGN 3 billion.

BGN 74 million are planned for Preschool education – BGN 38 million to support the payment by parents of meals for children from compulsory preschool education and to compensate for the costs of raising and educating children who are not accepted due to lack of places in state and municipal kindergartens and schools (here a child will be given about BGN 300 per month), as well as another BGN 36 million to expand access and coverage of compulsory preschool education for 4-year-old children.

BGN 70 million are provided for the construction and reconstruction of kindergartens, nurseries and schools, BGN 20 million – for the continuation of the modernization of school offices and construction of STEM environment, and another BGN 20 million – for increase of the general budget of the national programs. For example, the funds allocated for school stem cabinets will finance projects that passed the first stage last year, but were not funded in the second.

Author: Deyan Kolev

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The National Assembly adopted at second reading amendments to the Preschool and School Education Act