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Berlin highlights its focus on better education opportunities

Berlin highlights its focus on better education opportunities

Over the course of 2020, the German capital of has spent millions on improving its education capabilities

Over the course of its so-called school building offensive, the Berlin Senate spent around half a billion euros by the end of 2020. By December 1, some 315 million euros flowed into the construction and renovation of new schools and 168 million euros into building maintenance measures, according to the local tax authorities.

In fact, Since the start of the program in spring 2017, the state has invested almost 2.5 billion euros. The money has so far been used to complete three new schools and implement major renovation measures in another 487 educational facilities.

Taking care of the future

For the entire year 2020, the Senate had budgeted 556.7 million euros in investment alone. Even if the information on the cash outflow for December is not yet available, it can be assumed that, as in previous years, part of the available money did not flow out according to plan. This can be due to delays in the planning of projects, a lack of construction capacities or the corona crisis.

For 2021, the tax authorities expect more difficult framework conditions due to the pandemic. The planned expenditure should remain unchanged, however, compared to the current year for structural maintenance measures and an increase in the investment area by around eight per cent to 600 million euros.

The programme has not been without its issues. As part of the school building offensive, it was originally planned to spend a total of 5.5 billion euros by 2026, mainly for new construction, expansion and renovation, because the need for school places in the growing city has increased significantly in recent years.

The Berlin Court of Auditors has warned that the program could get financially out of hand. Currently, costs of 11 billion euros can be expected - twice the initially planned budget. It is also foreseeable that a number of construction and renovation measures could not be implemented in the planned time frame. As a result, there now exists a risk of funding shortfalls and delays in creating new school places.

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