The scholarships do not reach 60% of the poorest households and benefit 13% of the richest

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The September slope that is about to end has been the hardest in history and has been especially harsh on the most vulnerable students. An average of 329 euros they have spent this course 2022/23 Spanish homes back to school, among textbooks, stationery, uniforms and laptops. But the Government and CCAA scholarships are not as effective as they could be. The aid does not reach 60% of the poorest families while it benefits 13% of the richest.

This is stated by the largest study of scholarships carried out to date, which has also updated the estimates of spending on school supplies based on the crossing of two statistics from the INE. The work, which think tankEsadeEcPol will be published this Tuesday, shows that returning to the classroom requires three times more effort for poor families than for rich ones. Furthermore, he warns that the money is being distributed poorly: while in the post-compulsory stage of Baccalaureate 40% of students are on scholarships, it barely reaches 14% of ESO students. “It is worth stopping to consider whether a system with a high volume of academic failure can allow its protection coverage at this crucial stage of ESO to be so scarce in scholarships,” the report warns.

The authors have seen that “the system is not sufficiently progressive” because only 40% of the poorest 20% of households receive any scholarship, aid that also reaches 13% of the richest 20% of households.

«Something is not working well when only 40% of the households with the least resources receive a scholarship. These families should be guaranteed this aid. Because is not like that? Fundamentally, they are people who do not ask for them because they do not know they have the right or who are denied because they lack documentation,” responds the economist. Angel Martinez, one of the authors of the report. Regarding the 13% of high-income families that enjoy scholarships, the EsadeEcPol researcher believes that “it is not an exaggerated figure” and interprets that they are households that meet the requirements, either because they are large families or potential beneficiaries of universal aid.

The work proposes to “make the system more accessible”, improving information channels for families. It also urges that the Government set “a minimum national coverage threshold” common in all the Autonomous Communities – now each one has its own – because the authors have seen that there are “very considerable differences” and a “strong heterogeneity” depending on the territories. For example, free textbooks Andalusia is very different from the more “restrictive” model of Aragon, conditioned by income criteria. On the other hand, if in Canary Islands 55% of the students are recipients of some scholarship, in Murcia o Balearics coverage is less than 10%, according to data from the Ministry of Education.

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