Portuguese teachers protest austerity cuts

Staff Writer
Columbus CEO

LISBON, Portugal (AP) — Several hundred Portuguese schoolteachers demonstrated Sunday in Lisbon to protest the government's education policies, especially spending cuts.

Seven teachers' unions organized the march, attracting protesters from across the country.

Among the issues angering unions are evaluation tests for seasoned teachers, a lack of investment in specialized training, cuts to school budgets and layers of additional bureaucratic responsibilities being added to teachers' workloads. The protesters are also upset over the forced closures of schools with few students.

Portugal's center-right government has cut funds for public education and trimmed teachers' pay in recent years as part of an austerity program. The measures were among those enacted in return for Portugal's three-year, 78 billion euro ($101 billion) international bailout.