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by ZihuaRob ⌂ @, Zihuatanejo, México, Tuesday, March 29, 2011, 12:13 (3907 days ago) @ suztamasopo

Just a question. Rob, are the schools you are mentioning Federally funded, authorized Federally and are the teachers and administration dictated by the same rules, lesson requirements etc. as any other school Federally funded and authorized school?

Supposedly licensed schools receive funding from all 3 branches of gov't: federal, state and municipal, though in practice it's quite a different matter. Many of these squatter schools are awaiting their licensing, often with the help and influence of the same politicians who fomented the land invasions to begin with. Depending on upcoming electoral prospects, any number of parties will "come to the aid" to assist squatters get away with breaking the law. As I'm sure you know, for over 70 years one party wrote all the laws to their benefit, and even though they now share power, instead of fixing a lot of those "designer laws", other political parties have simply adopted the same bad practices, often to the detriment and chagrin of the community, especially those of us who actually pay taxes.

Thanks to the influence of their unions, we all know that teachers pay very little attention to whatever rules they find inconvenient, such as a federal law requiring testing of teachers to rate them on their own profession. Many simply refused to take the tests and closed down their schools until the government caved in or simply ignored applying the law to them. Guerrero is one of those states where many teachers refused the test.

The first real squatters' school in Zihuatanejo was practically built with money from foreigners, and their donations caused severe conflict among the teachers and parents and hardship for the students in that school and its community until this year. The whole episode caught locals off guard as most of us were unaware of what was going on until it was too late and hundreds of families took over a hillside and got title to the land they essentially stole.

Now we are looking to remove many of these communities from our hillsides, sort the frauds from the truly needy, and get the latter into a low-cost public housing program off our hillsides where providing them with services won't cost the taxpayers 5 times as much as providing those services cost for the rest of us, which was the reason we initially planned against vertical urban growth decades ago, only to be betrayed when the "opposition" came into power 8 years ago and changed the zoning to appease the tens of thousands of squatters they helped to bring here. We prefer not to repeat all the mistakes of Acapulco, in spite of the shenanigans of certain unscrupulous politicians and the public servants beholding to them.

So whether "legal" or not, in the eyes of the Zihuatanejo community many such "new" schools still remain illegitimate and undeserving of our scarce resources. It is unfortunate that certain folks have used these needy people, but not all of the squatters are what they appear. Many have multiple parcels of land and rent them out, living like relative royalty in comparison. When squatters tried to invade a parcel of land just off the main highway into town from the airport a few years ago, everyone commented on the dozens of late-model trucks and cars these folks left parked on the highway while they cleared the land they planned on stealing. Since they were so brazen about it they didn't get away with it that time, but in less visible areas it continues to this day. And we are all quite upset about it and against seeing lawbreakers rewarded for their misdeeds.


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