Estonia: Budget mistake hampers switch to Estonian tuition in Russian schools

Due to a budgeting mistake, Estonia’s Ministry of Education and Research will have insufficient funds to finance the transition to Estonian-language education in Russian-language schools in 2024 and beyond, ERR reports. The former government allocated the same amount of funds (EUR 41mn) for switching to Estonian-language tuition for each year in 2024-2026 as for September-December 2023. Education Minister Kristina Kallas (Estonia 200) noted that the actual need was EUR 27mn more in 2024 and even more in subsequent years. Interior Minister Lauri Läänemets, leader of the Social Democratic Party, blamed former education minister Tõnis Lukas of the opposition Fatherland party for the mistake. Kallas argued that the government would have to correct the mistake. However, Finance Minister Mart Võrklaev (Reform) insisted that the government would not approve additional funds to support the transition to Estonian-language tuition.