The struggle between powers on account of language policy in the classroom continues without any sign of resolution. The Superior Court of Justice of Catalonia (TSJC) has maintained its pulse with the Government and the Parliament by rejecting this Tuesday to revoke the 25% of Spanish in two classrooms, as the Generalitat had requested based on the new linguistic regulations that make explicit that percentages cannot be fixed on the languages of instruction.
Myths and truths of the school in Catalan
The substantive resolution of the conflict is neither the roof of the TSJC nor the Govern, but in the Constitutional Court. The judges of the 5th section of the Contentious-Administrative Chamber of the Catalan high court raised an issue of unconstitutionality regarding the new linguistic regulations approved by broad consensus in Parliament and with the endorsement of the Council of Statutory Guarantees. The judges understand that the norm violates the Constitution and that it only seeks to circumvent the 25% sentence.
While the Constitutional does not resolve, the TSJC has decided to paralyze the new petitions of families above 25%, understanding that the new linguistic law makes them “inapplicable”. On the other hand, this Thursday, for the first time, the court has decided to maintain in two classrooms the 25% of classes in Spanish that it imposed before the approval of the new regulations.
The judges conclude that the new law that prohibits percentages is not “incompatible” with maintaining 25% of Spanish in the classrooms of two schools. According to the togados, the 25% of Spanish that they imposed as a precautionary measure “is not affected by the prohibition of percentages” established by the new Catalan linguistic regulations.
“Although Catalan legislation does not define Spanish as a vehicular language, its educational use is included in the new norm and the individual right of the student to receive instruction in Spanish has a constitutional basis and is contemplated in the basic state legislation”, argues the TSJC.
The Generalitat has criticized the judicial resolution while announcing that it will appeal it. According to the general secretary of the Ministry of Education, Patricia Gomà, the judges only intend to “delay” the application of the new language law and “depart” from their own precedent. “It is legal filibusterism”, Gomà has sentenced.
For her part, the president of the Assembly for a Bilingual School (AEB) opposed to immersion, Ana Losada, stressed that in the absence of the other resolutions in the almost 70 schools where 25% of Spanish was already applied by judicial decision before the new law “the TSJC does not accept that the resolutions that the families have already obtained be revoked,” reports EFE.
The elimination of percentages on the languages of instruction, argue the judges, is a criterion for defining the linguistic projects of each center but “it is not extended to the real number of hours that are taught in another or language, which obviously always offer percentage parameters ”. Nor does it affect, add the togados, the “individual right” of each student to claim hours in Spanish. In other words, nothing prevents judges from setting a percentage of Spanish even though Catalan language law says otherwise.