February 19, 2024

The Supreme Court has dismissed the appeal of the Community of Madrid against an annex to the royal decree of Baccalaureate approved by the central Government within the framework of the new State Education Law -Lomloe- and that the Executive of Isabel Díaz Ayuso requested that it be annulled by its “high ideological burden” and for not leaving room for regulation by the regional administrations. In a ruling dated July 5, the Contentious-Administrative Chamber rejects all the grounds for challenge by the Community of Madrid, which it reproaches for having “silenced” in its claim the regional decree issued to regulate the content of the Baccalaureate and with which he complies with the competence that, as he denounced, prevented him from exercising the central government. The high court also imposes on the Madrid Executive the payment of the costs of the judicial process.

The Supreme Court ruling settles the conflict opened by the Community of Madrid on account of the norm that regulates the basic aspects of the Baccalaureate curriculum and that constitute the minimum teachings for the entire State. As the Executive of Díaz Ayuso denounced at the time, the royal decree lacked “essential content or knowledge” and there was a “high ideology” (it denounced that some terms such as sustainability or perspective or gender equality were repeated on numerous occasions in subjects with those that are not related).

But in the appeal presented in the high court, he complained, above all, that the state norm, when delving into each of the subjects of the Baccalaureate, defines the specific competences and the evaluation criteria “in an exhausting way”, so that This content goes beyond the notion of “minimum education” and leaves no room for regulation to the regional administrations. The Community invoked the doctrine of the Constitutional Court, from which it can be deduced that the State Administration is competent to establish the curriculum that includes the minimum teachings and that the autonomous governments approve the curriculum of each level of education based on these minimum teachings.

In its response to the high court, the central government argued that the new curricula adopt the recommendation of the Council of the EU of May 22, 2018, regarding the key competences for lifelong learning, understood as a continuous process that must be extended to throughout a lifetime. For this, explained the Government, a new element has been incorporated, the specific competences, referring to the performances that all the students of the State must be able to display when they complete the teachings. “They are the key curricular element to guarantee common training throughout the State and that are explained in the royal decrees of minimum education,” said the State Attorney, who warned the court that the Community’s claim omitted that there are other elements of the curriculum —such as the evaluation criteria and basic knowledge— in which the educational administrations exercise their competence. Therefore, the central government explained, the specific competences establish the objectives of the subjects, but how these objectives are achieved corresponds to the educational administrations and, ultimately, to the educational centers themselves, after which they can develop and complete the basic curricula.

This omission denounced by the Legal Profession has been one of the keys for the Supreme Court to dismiss the appeal: “The CAM can wrongly reproach annex II (the part that requested that it be annulled) for being exhaustive, which stifles the possibility of exercising its powers, when it has issued Decree 64/2022 cited by the State Attorney, a rule that silences and by which it has established the organization and curriculum of the Baccalaureate”. The magistrates, in a sentence for which magistrate José Luis Requero has been a rapporteur, make the Ayuso government ugly that, in the examples that it selected and presented before the high court, did not explain to what extent it could not have complemented the state norm. “The truth is that in the preamble of its decree (cf. section III, second paragraph), it states that with such a provision it fully exercises its competence with full respect for the principles of good regulation,” warns the Supreme Court.

The court also alludes to the existence of “ideological biases” that, according to the Community, “seems to be glimpsed” in those subjects that would lend themselves the most to it, such as Spanish History and “Contemporary World History.” “Well, if that assumption is true and seeing how the CAM has completed the minimum teachings with its Decree 64/2022, it not only silences the fact that it has not been able to complete them but also reorients them towards neutral approaches,” the judges point out.

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