Who should be Happy? Hostile Take Over!

By reading the most recent internet article on Politiken.dk, "Sprogskoler overtager kursister" (Language Schools Take Over Students) it is evident what the hidden agenda of the Copenhagen Municipality has been all along.

We can read that Jacob Hougaard is happy. This is not surprising, but we can assure that 700 students, 50 teachers, the taxpayers and Danish society needing Danish workforce do not have any reason to be happy.

The mayor Jacob Hougaard expresses content of the 'solution' that 500 highly educated students can now go to the municipality's own language schools, hopefully followed by the teachers trained and educated at KISS. Closing KISS seems to be an easy way to transfer resources from the successful KISS school to the other schools including the Municipality school KISS which has until now been their biggest competitor. Not only the best and most educationally effective, but also affordable.

But how did the municipality manage to close the school?

The municipality's own school receives 18.000 kr. pr student in a module, which is the recommended amount, set by the government who provides the money. KISS has, though, since 2004 only received about 8000 kr. pr module set by the municipality. This has been less than sufficient and KISS has complained through 2004, 2005, 2006 to the municipality, since KISS was on the edge of going bankrupt all these years. At the same time the Municipality has earned between 60 and 80 million kroner on KISS through state funding and by still taking 18.000 pr module from the surrounding municipalities having students at KISS but still only giving 8000 to KISS.

KISS complained to the Ministry of Integration. The rules where changed and Copenhagen Municipality could no longer benefit financially from outside students. This means 18 million a year in lost future income so KISS is not popular at the Municipality.

April 1st the municipality increased the module rate to 10.000 kr. KISS budgets are now finally in a balance but too late!

With KISS no longer on the verge of bankruptcy, the Municipality had to combat it using other means.

Midsummer Kiss received a letter like a lightning from the blue sky stating that it owes the municipality 4 mio kr., to be paid in 2 weeks, or the school would have to close. According to the Municipality, it had made a "reconstruction plan" in 2006 to help the school out of its deficit (instead of more rightfully increasing the module rate). According to the letter, KISS did not complete as many modules as states in the reconstruction plan. (This was due to firing of teachers and not enough students). KISS did not have sufficient assets to pay 4 mio., and further found the Municipalitys claim unfounded and disingenuous (it was clear from a letter dated February 10 2006 that Municipalities could not make a-conto payments, meaning KISS could not owe the municipality money). The plan was to reconstruct the school, which it did, and since April 1 2007 the school has been well running.

Since KISS did not have the 4 million to be paid within two weeks notice in the middle of the summer holiday as required, the municipality has withheld the payments to KISS ever since. Who mentioned not paying the bills?

In August, KISS finally made an agreement to pay off the 4 mio over the next many months, not accepting the claim but as a way to survive and under the conditions of a legal process.

It has now been 3 months, KISS has taught for free, the municipality has gotten their 4 million through free lessons, they loose their biggest competitor to their municipal school and get a possibility to take over both students and teachers from KISS. No wonder Jacob Hougaard is happy.

But who are the losers in this game?

KISS students have a demonstration on Wednesday, October 3, starting from KISS at 11 a.m. and will not be satisfied with the inefficient teaching at other schools in the Copenhagen. They have a reason for choosing KISS!

So has 40 teachers who will loose the school where they have been educated to teach a unique concept.

Taxpayers if they know will not be happy to have to pay 18.000 kr. per student in the future in the other language schools in Copenhagen, instead of 10.000 at KISS with better results.

And Danish companies and society will have to wait longer for their educated foreign workforce, who will not speak a Danish of the best possible quality.