Go to contents

Lack of Sources for Middle School Teaching Staff Salaries

Lack of Sources for Middle School Teaching Staff Salaries

Posted November. 08, 2004 23:02,   


Seoul and Busan local governments paid 100 and 50 percent of teachers’ salaries, respectively, to local public middle schools over the past three years due to gratuitous and compulsory education, which recently came into effect. However, it will be hard to secure sources for these salaries next year since the two local governmental bodies excluded the allotments from next year’s budget.

On Monday, these two local government bodies insisted, “We don’t have any authority to allocate our budget to middle school teachers’ paychecks,” and have not drawn up a budget for teachers’ salaries, which reached 280 billion and 50 billion won, respectively, this year.

Eight local governmental bodies (Seoul, Busan, Daegu, Incheon, Gwangju, Daejeon, Ulsan and the Gyeonggi province) have assumed 10 to 100 percent of public school teachers’ salaries according to the provisional law of the Financial Grant for Local Education, Article 12, second clause, enacted in 2002 when gratuitous and compulsory middle school education started. However, the law will become invalid by the end of this year.

Regarding the matter, the Ministry of Education and Human Resources Development insisted, “In this trend of expanding compulsory education, we cannot replenish the educational budget with only national revenue.” The ministry is planning to pass a revised bill of the Financial Grant for Local Education law at a cabinet meeting on Tuesday that will require eight local government bodies to continue to cover the teachers’ salaries.

However, the city of Seoul refuted, “As a local government body who cannot exert any authority over educational business, it is unfair for it to bear the burden of paying expenses related to compulsory education.” It emphasized, “If the bill should be passed, we will consider legal responses such as a lawsuit at the Constitutional court for its review of the constitutionality of the matter.”

A source from the ministry said, “We can still pay salaries using local offices of education’s budget allotments for equipment. Then, we can expand the amount of budget for equipment from a supplementary budget. Therefore, it is unlikely that teaching staffs in public middle schools will go unpaid.”

Kang-Myoung Chang tesomiom@donga.com