Rome

Academic year 'at risk' due to budget cuts in Italy

'Schools may not open in September' provinces say

Academic year 'at risk' due to budget cuts in Italy

Rome, May 9 - State-run schools may not open in the upcoming academic year starting in September due to lack of finances and budgetary constraints, Antonio Saitta, who heads the Union of Italian Provinces (UPI), said on Monday. Saitta warned many schools will not manage to start their academic activities this autumn due to budgetary constraints and cost cuts imposed by the central government as part of a wider spending-cuts policy it has applied in recent years. Saitta went on to say that from 2008 to 2012, Italy's provinces have funded a total of 10.4 billion euros of school-related spending, of which eight billion was related to ordinary activities and 2.4 billion was earmarked for investments in new buildings, renovation and structural works. During this period, the central government spent "zero euros" on school "intervention and making academic buildings safe," he said. During the same period, the central government slashed provinces' budgets for schooling by some 24%. In addition, over the same time frame, provinces were forced to adhere to an internal "stability pact" regulation which forced them to slash overall investments by 52%, to 366.7 million euros.

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