Villy Lopman comments in Eesti Päevaleht on the legal controversy surrounding the closing of rural schools
The media has recently addressed the closing of rural schools due to the budget difficulties of local governments. RASK partner Villy Lopman speaks on this topic in an article published yesterday in Eesti Päevaleht. In the article, Villy suggests that it is unclear whether the problem lies in the financing of education in rural schools or the use of the funds allocated for education by local governments. If it turns out that state funding for education in rural areas is not sufficient, this could be a legal problem.
“The Supreme Court has made it clear that the constitution gives local governments the right to ask the state for the financial resources necessary for performing their governing tasks,” Villy explains.
According to the Supreme Court, the state must establish regulations that ensure local governments have the funds necessary to perform at least a minimum of essential local functions. In other words, this is a legal issue that the municipal council can submit to the Supreme Court, thereby asking the court to assess whether the revenue base of the local government is constitutionally insufficient for fulfilling the necessary tasks, including the provision of high-quality school education in rural areas. “The systematic discussion and analysis of the financing model of local governments cannot be postponed indefinitely,” Villy Lopman concludes.
Read the original piece in Eesti Päevaleht (in Estonian).
Villy Lopman is one of the most sought-after
public law experts in Estonia, especially on issues involving negotiations with
various authorities, tax problems and court disputes with the state. With his
background as Head of the Legal Department and Principal Lawyer at the Estonian
Tax and Customs Board, Villy has extraordinary skills and experience in
communicating with state authorities.