“School is our thing” by Sister Anna Monia Alfieri

Since I don’t know how to embroider, I insist on writing. It is clear that stubbornness stems from an idea, namely the free school. Especially in this phase, when, while the Draghi government is dedicated to the management of the general administration, the engines of the electoral campaign are fired up and alliances are studied in the light of the opinion polls, I believe that it is right to make the voice of many heard through my honest citizens who are tired of certain politics and want a change in society. And if there is to be a change, it must necessarily go through the school. It is a message that the society of good people must convey to politics. It is the right time. Ecclesia semper reformanda, it is said. Well, the school has been waiting for years for its historic reform, namely the recognition of the freedom of educational choice. Only Italy is missing.

“School is our thing” by Sister Anna Monia Alfieri

We talked about average student costs, the ways public school leaders deal with financial hardship. Today I want to return to focusing on family law.

What is family law?

It is a law delegated to the government which in articles 1 and 2 highlight important openings towards the themes of autonomy, scholastic equality and freedom of educational choice. Here is the first article:

This Act contains provisions delegating to the Government for the adoption, reorganization and strengthening of provisions aimed at supporting parenthood and the social and educational functioning of families, at combating undernaturity, at promoting harmonious and inclusive growth of children and young people, at supporting young people’s independence and economic autonomy, as well as promoting a compatibility of family life with the work of both parents and supporting female work in particular.

In particular, the social value is thus confirmed educational and learning activities, even non-formal of the children, through recognition of tax breaks, exemptions, deductions from the tax base or tax deductions on income in relation for expenses incurred by families or by providing a credit or a binding sum of money for the purpose.

Music to our ears! It is easy to understand the historical passage: the educational tasks of families (and the service role of schools) are recognized with specific contributions, up to award “Amount of money tied up” for those who do not pay tax, i.e. the poorest classes. In the delegated decrees of the government, it could be clarified that the expenses of the families to attend private schools are recognized. This is in full agreement with the Berlinguer law, which recognizes “equality for equal schools” states that “In order to make the right to study and education effective for all students in state and equal schools … the state adopts an extraordinary financing plan … to be used to support the expenses that families incur and document for education through allocation of scholarships of the same amount … primarily for the benefit of families in disadvantaged conditions “(art.9 – 11 law 62 – 2000). The grant referred to in Law 62/2000 can be understood as the “standard cost per pupil”, the share that the state allocates to families for their children’s school: this does not constitute a withdrawal of funds from state schools, but a partial compensation of the savings that the state benefits from not attending state primary schools. It is, as can be seen, a question of a logical linking of legally founded arguments.

Article 2 confirms all this:

“When exercising the delegation referred to in paragraph 1 of this article, in addition to the general guiding principles and criteria mentioned in article 1, the government must comply with the following additional guiding principles and criteria: provide support measures for families through contributions to cover also for the full amount, the cost of fees in connection with participation in educational services for children, in accordance with the accreditation requirements set out in applicable law, and kindergartens”.

It is clear that for children the procedure is in place to help families pay the tuition and not to disburse funds to schools. This principle had already been confirmed by Legislative Decree 65/2017, articles 9 and 12, to which I refer.

Awaiting decrees and reforms

We await the implementation of legislative decrees (in time, moreover, the government works in a responsible way) to understand the extent of it the solution to guarantee the right to learn that every student has, beyond any economic discrimination. There are many hardships that families and our schools live and have to face, but the prospect of the Family Law and the funds from the NRP, which are used to give our children a future, commits us to protect the pluralism that is increasingly threatened , especially in economically more fragile areas.

Eternal Rome, Eternal Vatican. This is how Pope Pius XI said to complain about the curial delays. We could use the same expression in the school area. We have been waiting for the reform of the reforms for too many years. Here we are. The legal and financial conditions are all there and constitute a bountiful harvest. It is necessary to continue along the path taken. Italians expect this and expect a new attitude from the political class, the humility of those who know that they must fulfill their duty because they enjoy the trust of the citizens and that trust, once gained, must be preserved.

These are the fruits of humility: it is he who holds us against our weakness, makes it known and remembered every moment (…) And in adversity is comfort to the humble soul, which acknowledges itself worthy to suffer, and experiences sanity. of joy that comes from allowing justice. (A. Manzoni, Observations on Catholic Morals).

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