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Teachers hold seventh round of strike in Madrid

Source: XINHUA  |   2011-11-4  |     ONLINE EDITION

MADRID, Nov. 3 (Xinhua) -- Secondary school teachers on Thursday held the seventh round of strike against spending cuts in education in the Spanish capital Madrid.

Teachers' unions are angry at cuts of 80 million euros (110.3 million U.S. dollars) in the education budget, which means they have an extra two contact hours with students a week.

The cuts also mean the end of recuperation classes for weaker students as well as language adaptation groups for the children of non-Spanish speaking immigrants, the teachers said.

It is also calculated that around 3,200 teaching assistants will lose their positions due to budget cuts, although Madrid's education authority says that only 1,700 positions will be affected.

The authority recently introduced a series of tax breaks, worth around 90 million euros (124.1 million dollars), for parents sending their children to private schools. Teachers in the public sector are furious because they believe budget cuts in public education are used to subsidize the private sector.

Teachers' unions claimed that over 60 percent of their members answered the latest strike call, while the local authority put the number at only 30 percent. Three unions have extended their actions to primary schools in the area.

However, President of the Madrid Autonomous Community Esperanza Aguirre continued to insist that her administration has no intention of making any changes.

Meanwhile, teachers in the region of Castilla-La Mancha will also protest against budget cuts on Thursday

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