So it was mainly about politician “fuss”, about the exchange of known positions.
In addition, there is also a group of highly qualified families with many children: In 28 percent of couples with at least three children, one of the partners has a high school diploma, in 17 percent of families this even applies to both parents. A comparatively high proportion of these highly qualified mothers are employed.
Reasons against many children
But what’s stopping other parents from having more than two children? 50 percent of mothers and fathers said they had the ideal number of children. 36 percent think having another child would be a major financial burden. At 25 percent, one of the partners did not want any more offspring. In addition, parents want to keep their freedom (22 percent) or they doubt that their strength and nerves are sufficient for more children (21 percent).
Far too often poor children remain poor as adults – in terms of education and opportunities. What helps? More money for parents or more government influence on upbringing? Who should organize a reorganization of the support? And is personal initiative even rewarded? The ARD program “Hart aber fair” pursued these questions: “Young, poor, no chance: How children become Harzers”. But the program missed the topic, it was about political slogans and blanket judgments, but least of all about children or solutions.
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There are no general judgments or patent prescriptions and all Hartz IV families are different. Write us your opinion on the topic: Perspectives for the Hartz IV kids! Should the state intervene more or is the responsibility with the parents? Use the comment field at the end of the article or join the discussion in the forum.
Debate or action
Why are two politicians, a church representative, an entrepreneur, a journalist, but only one Hartz IV mother sitting in the discussion to talk to Frank Plasberg about the opportunities and perspectives of Hartz IV children in “Hard but fair”? So it was mainly about politician “fuss”, about the exchange of known positions. That also answers the question of why so little is happening, although everyone agrees that more needs to be invested in education and the opportunities for children. One opinion, but different political camps: This is why initiatives to improve the children’s situation fail. And has been for years. They talk about removing hurdles and about social participation, about flat rates and individual regulations, about personal responsibility and state regulation. The politicians Martin Lindner (FDP) and NRW top candidate Hannelore Kraft (SPD) lead political debates, the entrepreneur Claudia Sturm criticizes the fact that young people no longer want to work and the journalist Walter Wüllenweber represents social affairs with the President of the Evangelical Church, Nikolaus Schneider Conscience, the demand for prospects. It’s about perspectives, about education, about the duty of the state and the responsibility of parents, about human dignity and work, about duty to work and community service.
Education as an opportunity for advancement
“Education is the only social elevator to the top, but the ‘defective’ sign always hangs on this elevator.” This is how the author Walter Wüllenweber puts it. Because the German education system does extremely poorly in a European comparison. Children and young people in Germany are much more pessimistic about their future prospects than their European peers. And the perceived lack of prospects is even worse than the real one: every fourth young person in Germany fears that they will only be able to do a poorly paid job later. “The social mobility upwards is low”, so advancement is hardly possible. Do we need more regulations and financial aid from the state or more initiative on the part of those affected?
Initiative is punished
It is Laura’s example that shows that the state punishes initiative and hard work. The 15-year-old daughter of Hartz IV-Auftstockerin Christiane Weimar, worked for three weeks during the summer holidays in order to fulfill a great dream: an electric bass. Then the notification flutters into the house that the family will have to pay 334.30 euros, because the vacation job will be offset against the family income. Laura wrote a letter to the then Federal Minister of Labor Olaf Schulz and asked him whether that was fair? He replied in November 2009 that this had to be changed. Your case went through the Bundestag. Everyone agreed that this was nonsense and unjust and should actually be changed. But Laura’s family had to pay the 334.40 euros. It is well known how important music can be for the required “social participation”.
Laura has a perspective
Laura’s family is a positive example: A single mother who wants both to work and to be there for her two daughters (14, 16). She increases her three-quarters position with Hartz IV. Sentences like “no hard work, no price” or “personal initiative is capitalized” are dropped. Money is tight, tuition is not affordable, nor are school trips abroad, glasses and braces are huge items in the family budget. Nevertheless, Christiane Weber gives her children a perspective and takes care of their education. The Weimar family can certainly not stand for all Hatz IV recipients.
How can the state help?
Music school, sports club, tutoring – the panellists agree: yes, this should be paid for by the state, so far the Hartz IV rate does not provide for a budget. But how do you organize and finance? Frank Plasberg calculates that it would cost 116 million euros per month, 1.4 billion euros per year, if all Hartz IV children between the ages of seven and 17 take music lessons russian brides, sports club offers and tutoring. But wouldn’t that be unfair to the families who would have to get by without Hartz IV but also on a tight budget? Shouldn’t the school have to do more to make tutoring superfluous? All-day schools provide the children with food?
Package or individual?
Is a flat rate or an individually requested individual service better? Or vouchers? “There are always people who handle money responsibly and others who don’t,” said EKD President Schneider. “I would put the money into the system, the best would be a social mix.” Would it be too much effort to submit and process applications for every class trip, every brace, every tutoring? Or applies: system over individual performance. Martin Lindner points out: “I would look at the institutions, the schools. If there were all-day schools with food, I would no longer need vouchers. ”The last increase in child benefit, had it been better put into structures, it would have been enough to expand childcare. Conclusion: It is not necessary to initiate a debate because it has been around for a long time. It would be important to find meaningful and practicable solutions across parties that do justice to as many people as possible in order to give the children and thus society new perspectives.
Children are more familiar with political issues and are more interested in social issues than previously thought. This is the result of a study by the Mannheim Center for European Social Research that has now been published. But it also found inequalities.
Even first graders have a basic understanding
750 children at 19 Mannheim primary schools were interviewed for the study. Among other things, research was carried out into what political interests, knowledge and attitudes the children have, what ideas about democracy they have and how these political orientations develop in the first years of school. "We were able to show that even first graders have a basic political understanding that develops significantly in the first four school years" explained the scientist Jan van Deth. According to this, more than 80 percent of the fourth graders surveyed are familiar with the problem of unemployment, and almost everyone is familiar with environmental pollution. 64 percent know Chancellor Angela Merkel and 45 percent know that Germany is a democracy.
Children from socially disadvantaged areas do worse
However, children of foreign origin and from socially disadvantaged residential areas do relatively poorly in many areas. This also applies in part to girls, as the researchers announced.
It is an arbitrary limit: As soon as a child in training or studying earns more than 8,004 euros a year, the right to child benefit ceases completely. Amounts already paid must be refunded. However, similar to income tax, beneficiaries can claim income-related expenses, which are then deducted from annual earnings.
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In some cases, income-related expenses can be deducted without receipts
Parents may also be entitled to child benefit if their own child earns more than the limit of EUR 8,004 a year. The family benefits office normally no longer pays child benefit in such cases. However, the Saarland Finance Court has ruled that parents may also offset income-related expenses, for example for cleaning work clothes, from child benefit. The Federal Association of Wage Tax Assistance Associations (BDL) in Berlin points this out.
According to the ruling, cleaning costs are business expenses even if the parents do not have proof of this, the court clarified. The family benefits office then has to estimate the costs.
Parents whose daughter was training to be a nurse and earned more than the limit had complained. Her parents therefore did not receive any child benefit. In her case, annual income-related expenses for account management fees, specialist literature and the cleaning of work clothes were recognized.
So far, a single long-term unemployed person receives 359 euros a month for his livelihood, plus apartment rent and heating costs. According to the coalition’s stipulations, the standard rate will increase to 364 euros per month on January 1, 2011. That is five euros more than before. If two Hartz IV recipients live together, they should each receive 90 percent of it – that’s a good 655 euros together.
The CDU education commission set up by CDU party leader Angela Merkel wants to propose to the Christian Democrats that they say goodbye to the tripartite school system and to merge the secondary and secondary schools. The chairman of the commission, the Saxon minister of education Roland Wöller (CDU), told the newspaper "The world": "We will propose to the party executive that this school be named Oberschule." In addition, there should continue to be the high school, according to the information. The secondary school is against it "cannot be saved" said Wöller. She is not accepted by the majority of parents.
Transfer of the Saxon school model to all of Germany?
The expert commission is currently working on a template for education policy, which the CDU party congress will decide on in November. Of the "world" According to the plan, a transfer of the Saxon school model to all of Germany. The CDU commission has therefore also prepared resolutions on the subjects of all-day teaching, the inclusion of the disabled and teacher training.
No, because the Federal Council also has a say in the new Hartz IV regulation. There black-and-yellow no longer has a majority and is dependent on support from the ranks of the SPD or the Greens. But these are with the mini increase "according to cash position" disagree and have already threatened a constitutional lawsuit.