Madrid, Spain, Jan 19, 2021 / 06:01 pm (CNA).- An association of Spanish education advocates will appeal to the European Union to prevent Spain’s socialist government from implementing an education law that will restrict the exercise of the rights of parents in deciding their children’s education.
The law, approved by the Spanish parliament Dec. 23, 2020, eliminates Spanish as the official language, and most importantly, prevents parents from choosing religious schools for their children.
Spain has a charter school program that allows private schools, most of which are Catholic, to receive significant financial resources from the government. About 50% of Spain’s students go to charter schools. The new law prevents parents who live in a district with a public school to opt into a charter school for their children, a blow to both parental freedom and the ability of charter schools to survive financially.
“Más Plurales”, an organization that that includes thousands of educators, parents, and students from charter schools in Spain, announced Jan. 19 that “in the upcoming days we will appeal to the European Commission a lawsuit against the Spanish Government due to the serious imminent risk of violation of the fundamental rights and freedoms recognized by the European Union that implies the approval and entry into force of the new law.”
“This is a Law approved with little support, with the lowest number of parliamentary votes of all democratic educational laws and with a parliamentary procedure in which the intervention of civil society has been vetoed,” the statement also said.
The new law also dramatically affects religious education. Before the current law was approved, the government and the Catholic Church had an agreement that allowed one hour of elective Catholic education at public schools. The new law removes that hour from the school program, relegating it to an after school activity.
According to Más Plurales “almost 2 million citizens have signed our statement against the law and in favor of freedom and plurality. Demonstrations have been held in which thousands of cars have traveled the streets of the main cities throughout the country in protest of the content and the way in which this law has been implemented.”
The current Spanish government, controlled by a coalition between the Spanish Socialist Party and the leftist “Podemos,” has increasingly been passing laws hostile to religion in the public square.