Proposal to start negotiations on future of School of Eastern Finland submitted to city boards of Lappeenranta, Joensuu and Imatra
Officials of the cities of Lappeenranta, Joensuu and Imatra propose to their respective city boards that the School of Eastern Finland be closed down. This jointly prepared proposal is based on the need to adapt the service network to the number of children. The proposal is justified by the decrease in the number of pupils in the cities.
The schools currently operates in the area of the three cities and is led by a foundation called Itä-Suomen suomalais-venäläisen koulun säätiö. The foundation was founded by Lappeenranta, Imatra and Joensuu. Its Board of Directors is responsible for decision-making on school operations. The Board of Directors consists of members appointed by the cities of Lappeenranta, Joensuu and Imatra and by LUT University and the University of Eastern Finland. The three cities finance the school’s operations indirectly through municipality-of-residence reimbursements.
The closure of the School of Eastern Finland would have a significant and positive impact on the economy of the cities and on securing the scope and quality of the service network for children and young people. The cities emphasise that the service network and economic impacts must be considered from the point of view of all children using the cities’ services in the face of such a change in the number of pupils.
The proposed change is also based on its smooth implementation. The change can be implemented in one go. The transfer of comprehensive school pupils to the schools of the three cities will be successful with adequate resources. It is expected that the transfer of upper secondary school students from the School of Eastern Finland to the upper secondary schools of the three cities will take place without problems. If the proposal is to be implemented, the cities will ensure a broader Russian-language education for the pupils to be transferred than what is currently available in the cities’ curricula.
The solution will enable the continuation of several other units in Lappeenranta
In Lappeenranta, the future of the School of Eastern Finland will be examined as part of the City of Lappeenranta Welfare and Educational Services’ service network survey, which will be decided on by the City Council in the spring of 2024.
In Lappeenranta alone, the proposed solution regarding the School of Eastern Finland would save more than €1 million for other services for children and young people. The savings would arise from the end of the municipality-of-residence reimbursements. At the moment, Lappeenranta pays the School of Eastern Finland approximately €1.7 million a year in municipality of residence reimbursements. There are currently around 200 pupils studying in the Lappeenranta unit of the School of Eastern Finland.
The financial impact of the closure of the School of Eastern Finland is therefore very significant. In practice, this enables the continuation of several other local service units through municipality-of-residence reimbursements, as well as impacts investments as described in the service network survey as a factor that reduces the need of Kimpinen School for renovation, and facilitates the related temporary relocation needs.
The City of Lappeenranta’s service network survey, which will also describe the role of the School of Eastern Finland as a part of the service network, will be published 11 January 2024. The city board meeting which includes the proposal to close down the School of Eastern Finland will be held 15 January 2024 and its agenda will be made public on Friday 12 January 2024.
For more information, please contact:
Juhani Junnilainen, Head of Welfare and Educational Services,
tel. +358 40 190 6270, email@example.com