05 | DIC | 2019
Mexican government cuts its budget for special education schools
This represents 28% less in nominal terms, without considering inflation - Photo: Adrián Hernández/EL UNIVERSAL

Mexican government cuts its budget for special education schools

28/11/2019
12:56
Teresa Moreno
Mexico City
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The physical education budget is almost 3 times higher than what was allocated to special education

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In 2020, the Public Education Ministry (SEP) will allocate more resources to teach box, trekking, and baseball but in contrast, the federal government will allocate fewer resources to provide education for 621,628 children with disabilities, special needs, or outstanding abilities.

The Program for the Strengthening of the Especial Education Services (PFSEE) has a budget of MXN $208,632,066. Additionally, the SEP will also allocate MXN $65,000,042 to provide education to special education students in high school. In total, both programs will receive MXN $273,674,108.

The physical education program, promoted by President López Obrador, which aims to take baseball, box, and trekking to schools, will receive MXN $904,351,152. This budget is almost 3 times higher than what was allocated to special education.

During the previous school year, 2018-2019, the federal government provided education to 621,628 students with special needs; 99% of the children with special needs who attend school in the country. The other 0.4%, 2,743 children, are educated at private schools.

From the total of children who require special education, 145,000 are blind, low vision, deafness, motor disability, or intellectual disability; 22,163 have outstanding abilities, and 428,436 have a mental illness, behavior issues, languages issues, autism, among other conditions.

People with disabilities deserve an education

To provide education and other services to all these children, the federal government will spend MXN $335 on each of them every year.

In nominal terms, the attention of children with special needs will decrease by MXN $80,675,900 in 2020, which represents 28% less in nominal terms, without considering inflation.

Jennifer O’Donoghue, the director of NGO Mexicans First, explains that the federal government had agreed to increase the investment on the Attention Centers for Students with Disabilities (CAED), public centers that provide services for children and youngsters with disabilities, whose workers have had trouble with their salaries since 2018.

O’Donoghue says that the government “didn't do it. With the low amounts we see in the program, the reach is very little (…) The physical development is very important but there are many ways to do this. The government often reminds us that we're on austerity, we have to have priorities. We have all seen and heard about the President's interest in baseball and now we can see that it is reflected on the budget.”

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