Friday, March 25, 2011

How to scam your kids into a concertada or public school

Concertata schools are highly sought-after in this area due to the fact that they are generally significantly cheaper than fully private schools. Since the government subsidizes them, they are required to accept students based on a point system that is supposed to favor the disadvantaged.

In typical Spanish fashion (actually it should be Mediterranean, since the Italians and Greeks also seem to be in love with picaresque techniques), what started with the best intentions has turned into an extremely unfair system where it’s basically impossible to get in unless you cheat.

The original idea was that if you live or work nearby, you get a number of points based on your proximity. Unfortunately proximity is just too easy to fake (if you have a friend living nearby, you just use their address during the application process), so it all comes down to the “tiebreakers”:

The best cheats I’ve seen so far:

  • The “Fake Teacher” scam. You give the headmaster a cash bribe and they “hire” you as a teacher for a couple days. Your duties may include fixing computers, crosswalk guard, etc. Kids of teachers get 20 points right away, so you’re pretty much guaranteed a spot. This only works in concertada schools since public schools can’t hire random people off the street.
  • The “Fake single parent”. You get 15 points if you kids are from a single parent household. Maybe you should wait until your kids are in school before you marry, or if you are desperate, a perhaps a divorce?
  • The “Chronic disease” scam. You get 10 points if your kids suffer from a chronic disease. The disease of choice right now is celiac disease, so get a friendly doctor to diagnose your kid and you are all set.


Anonymous said...

There's people that cheat everywhere. Why do you think it has to do only with Spain or with the Mediterranian cultures?
Write a blog about your own country (I'm also not from Spain, but at least I respect the country I live instead of writing the kind of stuff you write) or stop critizing.

santcugat said...

Of course there's people that cheat everywhere, but few cultures get it to the point of turning cheaters into picaresque heroes.