School construction train rolls (slowly) on

The State Parents' Committee welcomes the 10-point plan of the districts for school construction and hopes that it will be implemented quickly in the districts and that the Senate Department of Finance will provide the planned structures with the financial support they envisage. We share the view that new school construction and renovation will require more staff than is currently available. Policy makers should consider whether hiring construction professionals, as with teachers at higher experience levels, can reduce the problem of attracting skilled workers in competition with the private sector, and how to outsource necessary design services.

In recent days, u. a. on the part of the Berlin FDP and the association "Gemeingut in BurgerInnenhand" (common property in the hands of citizens), new ideas, protests and concerns have been sporadically carried in the media. Based on this, questions have arisen for the National Parents' Committee regarding the topic of financing.

Critically Norman Heise, chairman of the national parents committee sees the sentence from the senate resolution of 27.06.2017, which reads as follows: "In particular, the long-term leases on the school buildings with the State of Berlin in conjunction with heritable building rights serve as loan collateral vis-A-vis the banks. The state of Berlin would grant the housing association appropriate heritable building rights."
This sentence does not explicitly name school properties, but nevertheless: "It is important to us to clarify how it can be prevented that hereditary building rights are sold or encumbered with mortgages, land or annuity debts, which are then tradable financial products. Before that, however, there are the questions of whether borrowing is necessary at all and, if so, whether it will (have to) become loans that could end up being more expensive, as economist Heinz-Josef Bontrup of the Westphalian University of Applied Sciences in Gelsenkirchen, Bocholt, Recklinghausen put it in the Berliner Zeitung of 04.11.2017 to consider. We will ask those responsible about this." says Norman Heise.

"It is also important to us that public information about the risks and opportunities of a possible borrowing by a housing association is provided and discussed. Transparency and care must be guaranteed with this topic on the part of the senate!" adds Sabina Spindeldreier, deputy. Chair.

"Students, teachers and parents in all Berlin districts have been waiting for many years for a reliable remediation roadmap that has been announced to us as LEA by the Senate Administration for the end of fall. The districts had been asked to submit a proposal by no later than 30.09.2017 to submit their priority lists to the relevant Senate administration. We assume that with the publication of the list by the districts and by the senate administration comprehensible and transparent reasons will be given why it is important that school X is now at number 1 on the list and why school Y, which has the same or similar needs and structural problems, only appears at number 5."Sabina Spindeldreier, Vice Chairwoman of the Board of Management, said. Chair to consider.

"In the districts, the district councils, students, teachers and parents will deal with these lists in their committees. The end result should be one that has a commitment for the next ten years. Care must also be taken to ensure that, in the event of damage z. B. by storms, broken water pipes and other disasters, quick solutions are possible without putting the renovation timetable in jeopardy.", demands Detlef long one, stellv. Chairman.

"With regard to rent payments, we are concerned with the question of which parameters are used to determine the rent that the districts have to pay to HOWOGE. Currently, each district receives X amount per student via cost performance accounting (CRA) for providing a school seat. Should this allocation system also apply to the new buildings, which will then belong to HOWOGE?? It would make sense if a new allocation system could finally be agreed upon overall for new buildings, as well as for existing schools, which would then not include any negative effects if a school is not fully occupied for a short period of time. Conversely, there should be no profit to be made if the school is operating beyond its spatial capacity (as is already common in many existing schools)."suggests Cornelia Partmann, deputy chairman of the state parents' committee. Chairman before.

For the state parents' committee, it is important that the process continues to move forward and does not stall or come to a standstill. Questions about the process must be asked and answered transparently. Emerging problems need to be solved. It is also important to us that statements made regarding the publication of the priority lists are honored and that the establishment of the State Advisory Council on School Construction, announced for immediately after the fall vacations, finally takes place in order to reduce the islands of information that have formed among the individual committees and institutions involved.

We have compiled our knowledge of the process in a collection of facts, which we intend to keep up to date, at http://leaberlin.en/267-current/3825-fact-collection-on-the-topic-of-school-building-published.

Last but not least:

As the state parents' committee, we stand closely alongside all school administrators who speak publicly about the conditions at their schools, regardless of possible consequences. School leaders who also publicly advocate for their schools are true leaders who accept their full responsibility to the school community. This attitude deserves the appreciation of all of us! Democracy thrives on freedom of expression, openness and transparency. This is what school should model for our children. And that's what dedicated school leaders do every day. From our point of view, it is therefore important to also use the media to lead the debate about the dilapidated state of many schools. In our view, responsible school board action includes public relations on unpopular issues, and we sincerely hope that Berlin school boards will continue to do so in the future when they deem it necessary.

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