Spanish Teachers, Students, Parents Protest Education Budget Cuts

Posted October 4th, 2011 at 4:25 pm (UTC-5)
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Thousands of public school teachers in Spain's central Madrid region were back on strike Tuesday to protest education budget and staff cuts, as the regional government tries to improve its financial situation.

The teachers were joined by students and parents as they massed in Madrid's streets. An initial demonstration September 20 was followed by one-day strikes. Other protests over cuts in education funding have been held around the country.

Spain, like other countries in the euro zone, is making aggressive budget cuts to reduce the public deficit. The government wants teachers to spend an additional two hours a week in the classrooms. But the teachers union says increasing the number of classroom hours for teachers will lead to poorer quality education.

The union also believes teachers will have less time to prepare for classes and meet with students, and will be assigned to teach subjects they know nothing about. The teachers say the budget cuts come at a time when a quality education is key to helping the country reinvent itself for the future.