Students in need will receive a free breakfast at school

Written By Manuel Poças

According to a proposal of the Portuguese Socialist Party to alter the 2024 State Budget, the most disadvantaged students frequenting mandatory schooling will be able to get free breakfast at school.

Currently, these students already benefit from free lunch and have the possibility of accessing a free afternoon snack provided by the municipality. If this proposal moves forward, two-thirds of the main three daily meals will be guaranteed for those who need them the most.

The proposed measure shall apply to every student who benefits from the highest level of school social action, independently of attending public, or private schools. This level of social action is only granted to students whose annual household income does not exceed 3102,4 euros or, in other words, 221,6 euros per month, for 14 months.

The Portuguese Ministry of Education recognizes that this measure can definitely and effectively help deal with difficulties that are imposed on children originating from disadvantaged households and/or social settings.

Given that the measure was proposed by the Portuguese Socialist Party, which was elected with an absolute majority, it will pass and come into effect.

Concerning the teachers, the Portuguese Government approved, in the Council of Ministers, a measure that supports middle school and high school teachers who are placed at least 70 km away from their homes.

The measure was also part of the 2024 State Budget, but the Council of Ministers chose to speed up its execution. Four thousand teachers will benefit from this support until 2025, and the total cost of executing it will be around 8 million euros.

The measure, which was already approved and will come into effect, is only for teachers working in Lisbon and Algarve, and the support is only in terms of housing. The reason why the measure is restricted to these regions is because of the fact that it is where teachers refuse to be placed because of the excessively high housing prices.

Apart from the distance, another eligibility criteria will be the effort rate. Only teachers with an effort rate above 35% will be able to benefit from the support. The basis of the rate calculation will be the burden of the permanent housing that is required by the placement.

Note that the maximum support each eligible teacher will be able to get, per month, is 200 euros. Moreover, the numbers provided above (4 thousand teachers and 8 million euros) are just an estimate. The number of teachers that were provided corresponds to those that were identified until now. However, it is not static. Neither is the cost. If more teachers are eligible, the bigger the costs.

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