The Moderates and Social Democrats have reached a decision to shut down four schools and eleven preschools with immediate effect in Linkoping municipality. This decision is alarming and should not be implemented as it affects the well-being of children. Prioritizing savings over education is not acceptable, especially when it comes to such a crucial activity as schooling. The board’s assertion that it is not a cost-saving measure is a blatant lie. On the other hand, the Sweden Democrats believe in smaller school units to provide enhanced help and support to students, particularly those with special needs. They can further utilize smaller student groups to accomplish more smaller school units, rather than shutting them down.
The proposed closures also include schools with special teaching programs and support groups catering to students with autism and language impairment. For these students, changing schools will be challenging and disruptive to their daily routine. Students with rigid routines or fixation on repetitive patterns will struggle to adjust to the new environment. Similarly, students with language impairment issues who cannot communicate will face difficulties finding new friends. Closing schools that cater to students with such needs is unacceptable.
Although municipalities need to find areas to reduce expenses, savings should not come at the cost of children’s education, particularly those with special needs. Rappestad school, located near Vikingstad, is a rural school that is half-empty, according to Elias Aguirre, and students should be moved to Vikingstad. The Sweden Democrats believe that this is not the right way forward as it opposes the idea of smaller school units and kills the countryside.
On 23rd March, the Children and Youth Committee will take the final decision on closures. The Sweden Democrats are committed to ensuring that the schools planned for closure by the board are not shut down. The well-being of children must be given priority over savings on school operations.
The Moderates and the Social Democrats have concluded that four schools and eleven preschools are to be closed at short notice. It is worrying and should not happen in Linköping municipality. The children’s best interests must come first and not savings on an important activity such as the school. According to the board, this is not a saving, which is an outright lie. It is about an extremely short-term saving which in the long term will be a big cost.
The Sweden Democrats advocate smaller school units. Smaller school units mean that each student gets more time for help, not least students who need special support. Each student is seen more and the teacher then has more time to ensure that each student receives a quality education. The closures concern, among other things, smaller student groups, where SD sees a chance to realize more smaller school units and not do as the board does and close them down.
When it comes to Fredriksbergsskolan, there are students who attend a special teaching group for students on the autism spectrum. For these students, the closure will mean that they have to change schools and it will mean that both the students and their parents will have less security and a more difficult journey between school and home. Children whose diagnosis insists that nothing should change in everyday life, inflexible fixation on routines or ritualized patterns of behavior. Tannefors School also has a SU group for students with severe/general language impairment. Students who do not understand or cannot express themselves in the language, who are already struggling at school, will also have to change schools and find new friends. Children who do not know or have the ability to start a conversation with another person. It is these students that the board believes should have to change schools. It is something that SD absolutely cannot accept.
The municipality sometimes needs to find areas to make savings, but savings should not be made on the children and especially not on children with special needs.
Rappestad school is a rural school located a short distance from Vikingstad, according to Elias Aguirre the school is half full and that the students should be moved to Vikingstad. SD believes that this is completely the wrong way to go. Here, the board wants to move away from the possibility of a smaller school unit and, moreover, they want to close down a rural school, which does not contribute to a living countryside at all, but rather kills the countryside.
On March 23, the Children and Youth Committee is expected to decide on the closures and the Sweden Democrats will do everything to ensure that these schools that the board plans to close do not close down. We believe that the best interests of the children should come first and not savings on school operations.