Thuringia: Music schools get six million euros from the state

A draft law by the CDU to finance music and art schools has been discussed for almost a year.

Thuringia: Music schools get six million euros from the state

A draft law by the CDU to finance music and art schools has been discussed for almost a year. Those affected were heard. Now the law has been passed with changes - with rare unanimity.

Erfurt (dpa/th) - Music and art schools in Thuringia will in future receive guaranteed financial support directly from the state budget. This was decided unanimously by the state parliament in Erfurt on Thursday. The opposition faction of the CDU had presented a draft law that has been discussed and changed in some points over the past eleven months. It is now regulated that the music and art schools receive at least six million euros from the state treasury every year.

Minister of Culture Benjamin-Immanuel Hoff (left) said, "Art and culture show that the state parliament can come to compromises and decisions across parties". According to the CDU, there are 25 municipal and numerous private or non-profit music schools and 13 youth art schools in Thuringia.

So far, the music schools have been financed by the municipalities with funds from the financial equalization with the state and as project funding. After a constitutional court decision in 2004, earmarked funding via financial equalization was no longer possible, said Hoff. Some of the state payments were also used by the municipalities for other tasks.

Members of parliament from all parliamentary groups declared that music and youth art schools fulfill an important educational mission and that many artists have taken their first steps there. The Left MP Katja Mitteldorf referred to the planning security that the schools would now get. "The law is a huge step forward."

The municipalities were not relieved of their responsibility with the law - they would have to continue to provide a share of the financing, said the FDP MP Franziska Baum. The CDU deputy Jörg Kellner rated the broad support of the CDU law as a success. Thuringia finally has a law that grants schools state recognition as educational institutions. So far, they have been worse off than corresponding institutions in Bavaria, Baden-Württemberg, Brandenburg or Saxony-Anhalt.

The SPD deputy Thomas Hartung described the annual six million euros provided for in the law as the minimum amount. With the guaranteed funding, the music and art schools would be freed from an awkward situation in the future if the municipalities supporting them got into financial difficulties. Hartung expressed the expectation that there would be an improvement in the employment relationships of teachers. For the first time, concrete quality, offer and personnel standards for the music and youth art schools would be created.

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