Pnrr school, controversy of principals and experts on funds for early school leaving: “Let the EU intervene”

There is controversy over half a billion of PNR funds distributed to schools to curb the phenomenon of early school leaving. Experts summoned by the minister to develop measures on early school leaving close the door with disappointment: it is not.

There are institutes in difficult neighborhoods and peripheries at risk that have not received a euro and there is no structural intervention aimed at an educational community. “It’s a concept that the ministerial offices of Viale Trastevere do not have, the logic is all closed within the schools: a figure like this had never been seen, it is a rage that it rains without an organic project of at least three years capable of involving the territory ”, shakes his head Franco Lorenzonithe founding master of the Cenci House-Laboratory, a center for educational experimentation.

“We need to support children and young people in poor areas, we have been doing it for 30 years with few resources, now that they have arrived, a decree is issued that does not bring schools together with the third sector and the councils in this battle,” he said. Marco Rossi Doriaanother teacher with a long career in difficult neighborhoods, former Undersecretary of Education.

Minister Patrizio Bianchi wanted them in the working group for the contrast of early school leaving Ludovico Albert, Andrea Morniroli, Vanessa Pallucchi, don Marco Pagniello, Chiara Saraceno. They worked for a few months, presented a detailed report in view of the PNR funds: a total of 1.5 billion, the first tranche allocated in recent days by decree to go to the Court of Auditors. And it is on the criterion that the experts blur: “They have not listened to us.”

The letter to the minister

They have done so with a letter addressed to the minister asking them to correct the course: “There is still an opportunity to avoid the very serious risk that the lack of indications, based on the experience of many schools and civic operators , on how to produce, accompany and monitor actions to counter gaps and dispersal that may betray the same objectives of the NRP by repeating a sprint intervention instead of initiating long-term structural action as requested by the European Union ” .

Lorenzoni reasons: “The NRR is a compensation for the younger generations, children are the ones who have suffered the most and have an absolute need for support. We have worked on hypotheses that, with complex criteria, favored schools at risk to build support networks around them. Now we had to start our work and instead … ”. The members of the working group dispute the direction taken: “It is the opposite of what Europe is asking for.” And it is not certain that the European Commission will not intervene in this, which has set as its goal in these funds the achievement, with initiatives supported by these resources, of at least 420 thousand students. Bring it back to the classroom, graduate, recover for studies and training. To give them a better future.

Among the criteria used (and challenged) for distribution in the Regions, it would seem to favor the North, while for the allocation to the centers is also considered the so-called “implicit dispersion”, ie the percentage of students that in Italian and Mathematics achieved a very good result.under the Invalsi tests. And even in this case there is a risk of producing other inequalities.

Simplified criteria

In the letter, the working group explains: “Given the criteria for allocating funds to schools, we have indicated a set that includes test results not passed, number of absences of students, incidence of foreign students, incidence of students with Bes. (special educational needs), adults with a low cultural level, in possession of compulsory or lower education, presence of young grandchildren, presence of large families (six members or more) and “potentially needy” families, Decree 170 opposed a simplified set of criteria. The simplification of criteria is implicitly justified in a hurry. But the EU does not ask for it. “And again: Decree 170 allocates resources school by school but does not define” who what and how to use them “.

“Dear Minister,” the text continues, “there is the question of questions. How to promote cohesive and permanent territorial alliances around schools between the schools themselves, local bodies and the third sector in a cooperative and egalitarian way, ensuring the maintenance over time of educating communities based on the example of best practices already underway in every part of Italy? “.

Experts agree on the need – as Decree 170 does – to indicate school-by-school funding, “thus finally avoiding the tender procedure, on an issue that clearly suggests not working by competition but by agreement the educational actors At the same time, we believe that the Decree makes the serious mistake of not conditioning the confirmation of the allocation of funds to the constitution of the territorial alliance, to the shared elaboration of a project. of action and improvement of the school offer that includes the Years 2022. -23, 2023-24 and possibly 2024-25 In short, it would have been possible and should have added immediately to the allocation of resources a defined set of frameworks, operational guidelines and rules for participation “.

The alarm of the unions over the dispersal

The working group has dissolved, the controversy continues. At the heart are the unions and directors who dispute an unequal distribution. “So what battle are we fighting? We do everything: we’re going to retrieve the missing children from their home one by one, we track them down, we take them back to school. But schooling isn’t enough. And without funding, there is a lack of oxygen for important interventions, ”he declares Stefania Colicellidean of the integral institute Ristori, the school of Forcella of Naples.

There are schools in poor territories that have not received a euro, others that have less educational needs that have received the funds. But there is also the case of those who worked hard with the few means at their disposal to recover students who drop out: improving results in the end lost in the allocation of funds. In short, the risk is that resources will not reach all the institutions with the most difficulties, as would be correct, but not even those that are the penultimate. Disaster.

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