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School Bus Service in Spain Gets Cut, So Mothers Pose for a Semi-Nude Calendar to Pay For It Their Own Darn Selves

Spain, as much of the world, isn’t doing too well economically. After the country’s construction bubble popped the government instituted sizable budget cuts, including to schools, many of which now charge way too much for lunches and have had to cut bus services. Dozens of kids at Evaristo Calayatud in Valencia now have to walk nearly four miles over unpaved roads to get to school.

But a group of mothers aren’t having it. If the government can’t afford school buses, well, they’re just going to raise the money themselves. By posing for a semi-nude calendar.

The calendar features the mothers posing along what was once (and hopefully will be again) a school bus route. Their goal is to raise 43,000 euros, or approximately 56,700 US dollars; the calendars have sold well enough so far that they already have enough to pay for three months of daily bus service for the 83 kids affected.

Says Maria Gilabert, one of the mothers:

“I’ll do anything for my child and If I have to undress, because in Spain that’s what has to be done to get attention, then I’ll do it.”

I’m torn between wanting to stand up and cheer for these moms and getting depressed at how the government is treating public education. I mean, it’s not like the future of their country depends on it or anything.

(via: Jezebel)

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  • Nirali

    oh my god. this is so sad. i hope that they at least earn the money now.

  • s0nicfreak

    The future of their country depends on EDUCATION, but public education is not the only option. Why can’t these mothers band together and gather the resources (which can be acquired for free) and pool their time to educate their children themselves? If public education is screwing you over, stop supporting it!

  • Seanna Tucker

    The resources may be able to be acquired for free, but that doesn’t mean that they have the ability to teach it. They may not have the ability to read the resources themselves and, as was noted in the article, the country itself is low on funds. These women may be working to support their families.

  • s0nicfreak

    They may be working, which is why I said pool their time. And if the public schools are not teaching them to read, what is the point of using that money to send their kids to the school? How about using the money from the calendars to pay someone to teach them to read or so that they can take a day off of work and teach the kids?

  • Rocio R.F.

    I guess s0nickfreak is talking about homeschooling, a practice that is illegal in Spain (more of a legal void than illegal but close enough, there are laws restricting the possibility of child labour through the enforcement of compulsory education). Nowadays, only 5000 kids in a country of 47,042,984 citizens (July 2011 est.) are homeschooled (many of them foreigners, by the way). To understand the lack of appeal about homeschooling for most Spanish families it is relevant to check the percentage of working women in Spain, the number of co-official languages children learn, the different stages and curriculum of the Spanish system or the amount of taxes those families are paying.

    Because yes, the important thing to remember is that those mothers are already paying for their children education: their compulsory collected taxes are used to hire teachers, build schools and provide for extra services like school lunches or buses. The problem is not so much the lack of money but the lack of proper administration. Let’s remember that Calatayud is
    located in the Valencian Community, an autonomous community (more or less like a State in USA) that has been managed by a right-wing government, prone to cut expenses related to social welfare. Those mothers are doing more than enough
    but their government is failing them.

  • Anonymous

    If you’d gotten a bit more ‘public’ education, maybe then you’d not public post stuff that makes you look like a major idiot.

  • s0nicfreak

    Look out guys we got a tough internet genius over here

  • Taste_is_Sweet

    Thank you for pointing out to s0nicfreak that not everywhere in the world is exactly like the US. Quebec, Canada, doesn’t allow homeschooling either, for example. Also, the assumption that ‘all’ these mothers would have to do would be to ‘pool their time’ (and what about the fathers?) and *poof!* magically they’d be able to teach their kids is insultingly naive.

  • Marquis

    So they’re not going to show us the pictures? Bummer.

  • R.M. Jones

    As a homeschooled kid, I apologize for S0nicfreak’s assumptions on this and ask that others not judge homeschoolers by the rare idiot.

    And although it is saddening for me to hear that homeschooling is illegal in places like Quebec, simply put, as a non-neurotypical kid with a brilliant Editor hippie mother I probably had the best of it and came out better educated then most public schooled kids. I do support constant check points and tests though, as lets face it, now in the US many people are using Homeschooling as a excuse to keep their kids from the big bad liberal government *wince* as opposed to the Hippie fueled creative learning of yesteryear. But it’s a far more complicated issue then just “EDUCATE THEM YOURSELVES!”, especially as most the GOOD material can cost hundreds of dollars per source, and not everyone has computers to fill in the gaps. My mom, who had a BA in history and was a Editor for a magazine for example, was horrible at math so often used the computer to figure out what I was having trouble with and later on hired me a tutor. I mean, my mom literally wrote a book on Homeschooling that is still in circulation a decade later. I obviously had one of the best homeschooling experiences offered.

    TL’DR- Homeschooling is a great option, but it is far from being a option for everyone. So it’s a complicated issue! And it shouldn’t be treated as a quick fix!

  • s0nicfreak

    Yeah. taking your child’s future into your own hands when you see that the people you entrusted it to don’t give a crap sure is idiotic…

  • s0nicfreak

    Well since the mothers were doing all the work of gathering money to pay for the bus, I assumed the fathers weren’t involved in these children’s lives. But if they are, then there is even more people to pool their time! It’s not magic, of course it would be hard. But spending that money on a bus to send their kids to a school that isn’t doing its job is a waste of money – and if they are poor, it’s even sillier to waste that money!

  • Anonymous

    I don’t think homeschooling is legal in Spain.

  • s0nicfreak

    It is also not the only way to do what I said…