State must pay for students attending school in other municipality

A school bus in Estonia (picture is illustrative).
A school bus in Estonia (picture is illustrative). Source: (Postimees/Scanpix)

The Supreme Court of Estonia has deemed unconstitutional a provision in the Basic Schools and Upper Secondary Schools Act which obliges municipalities to compensate other municipalities for costs tied to the education of pupils attending school in a neighboring municipality.

The inconsistency in the law was highlighted by Jõelähtme Municipality, many of the children of which attend school in Tallinn.

Jõelähtme Municipality specifically pointed out that the duty placed on municipalities by the law to cover the costs related to the education of students enrolled in a municipal school of a municipality other than the one in which they are registered as living imposes upon them a state function, the carrying out of which, in accordance with the Constitution, must be funded from the state budget.

It said that the regulation necessary for covering said expenses from the state budget did not exist.

The Supreme Court ruled on Thursday to satisfy the application of Jõelähtme Municipality and deem unconstitutional the failure to issue legislative acts setting out the financing of the functions imposed on municipalities by the Basic Schools and Upper Secondary Schools Act if the municipality has made the opportunity to enroll in a municipal school operated by the municipality available to all students registered as living there.

Editor: Aili Vahtla

Source: BNS

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