Skip to Content

### Education Reform’s Cost Increase Won’t Address Teacher Pay Problem

While the Education Minister of Estonia has been advocating for reforms in the education system, the leader of the Social Democratic Party (SDE), Lauri Läänemets, expressed concerns to ERR that these reforms could potentially lead to increased expenses rather than addressing the issue of teachers’ wages.

Läänemets, speaking on ERR’s “Otse uudistemajast” webcast, highlighted that the planned reforms may not effectively address the ongoing demand for higher salaries among teachers in the current and upcoming years.

He emphasized that despite discussions within the coalition council and government, spearheaded by Education Minister Kristina Kallas, it has become evident that these reforms may not result in additional funding, stating that it is a separate matter.

In order to fulfill the coalition’s commitment to raise teachers’ average wages to 120 percent of the national average salary by 2027, Läänemets stressed the necessity for educational reforms.

Additionally, Läänemets cautioned against the closure of small schools in rural areas, noting that such actions may not lead to long-term savings, especially considering that students from these schools often come from less privileged backgrounds. He warned that pursuing such reforms could potentially result in increased state expenditure.

Despite the proposal by SDE to allocate the €10 million required to increase the minimum teacher salary for the current year by eliminating bonuses in ministries, this suggestion was rejected by coalition partners.

Läänemets clarified that the disagreements within the government do not indicate SDE’s intention to withdraw from the coalition. He underscored the party’s significance as a balancing force in the predominantly right-wing government, emphasizing that without SDE’s presence, issues such as teachers’ salaries might not receive as much attention.

Looking ahead to the state budget strategy discussions slated for late January, Läänemets mentioned that SDE aims to task the Ministry of Finance with devising a plan to address the practice of concealing actual employment relationships through company contracts to evade tax obligations.

Follow ERR News on [ppp1] and [ppp2] and never miss an update!