Parliament Passes Controversial Education Reform Law


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The Hungarian Parliament has today passed a controversial education reform bill that will change the legal status of teachers, while a pack of teachers demonstrated on Kossuth tér.

MPs voted by 134 votes in favor, 60 against, and no abstentions on the parts of the bill on the new career path for teachers that require a qualified majority, and by 136 votes in favor, 58 against, and no abstentions on the parts that require a simple majority, according to a report by news siteTelex.

The new education law changing the legal status of teachers will enter into force on January 1, 2024.

Before the entry into force, teachers will be informed that their status as public employees will be terminated and will have to declare whether they wish to transfer to the status of public education employees. So far, thousands of teachers have indicated that they will resign if the status law is introduced, according to the report.

Those who do not sign the new status will no longer be allowed to work as teachers. Those who declare in writing between September 15-29 this year that they do not accept the change of status will receive only one month's severance pay for less than 20 years' service, two months' worth of pay for between 20 and 30 years, and three months' worth for more than 30 years of service.

Protests against the adoption of the law started on Kossuth tér in front of the Parliament building on the morning of the vote. Protesters chalked up a sign reading "Future" on the ground and then covered it with a hundred kilograms of ice, aiming to demonstrate how "the future will melt away" once the law is passed, according to the report.

Lawmakers Approve Tax Changes

Also on Tuesday, the Parliament cleared tax changes proposed by the government. MPs approved the legislation with a vote of 136 for, 49 against, and nine abstentions, according to a report by state news wire MTI.

The legislation adjusts excise tax rates to European Union minimums and rolls out a "green tax" on airlines, similar to ones in a number of other EU member states.

It also codifies a number of measures earlier introduced by decree, including tax preferences for mothers under the age of 30, the elimination of dedicated Szép voucher card spending accounts and the scrapping of the 13% employer contribution for Simplified Contribution to Public Revenues (Ekho) taxpayers.


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