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Constitutional & Legal Foundations

Educational legislation in Spain is built and guided by the principles of law as established in the Constitution of 1978 and four basic organic acts: the Organic Act on University Reform of 1983 (LRU); the Organic Act on the Right to Education (LODE) of 1985; the Organic Act on General organization of the Educational System (LOGSE) of 1990; and the Organic Law on Participation and Administration of Educational Establishments (LOPEG) of 1995. As such, the fundamental legal text of education is the LOGE. Among the basic stipulations of this law was most of the repeal of the 1970 Law of General Education (LEG). The General Education Law of 1970 was the first and most important law of modern times. Among its fundamental characteristics were compulsory education of all the Spanish population between the ages of 6 and 14; a demonstrated concern for quality education for all; and support for private education at non-higher education levels.

The General Educational Law of 1970 soon became obsolete because of the important political, social, and economic changes, which Spain went through in the late 1970s, especially because of the changes brought on by the death of Franco. The changes in the government were a transition from a military dictatorship and the transition to a democracy. Other important changes in Spanish society, which occurred during this time were the incorporation of Spain into the European Economic Community (later European Union) and the reorganization of Spain into autonomous regions with home rule.

After the General Education Law of 1970, the next important educational legislation in Spain was the Law of University Reform (LRU) of 1983 and the Organized Law for the Right of Education of 1985 (LODE). The University Reform Law called for autonomy and self-regulation for universities and distributed the responsibilities for higher education among the State, the autonomous communities, and the universities themselves. It aimed at a decentralization and more democratic organization of Spanish universities. In addition it sought to simplify the hierarchy of the university teaching staff and thereby encourage higher quality in university teaching and research. The LODE, the Right of Education Law, of 1985 affirmed the right and educational opportunity of all Spaniards and it also provided for a greater role for "society" in the educational system. In addition, it provided for economic funding for both public and private educational centers.

The next important piece of educational legislation was the LOGSE, The Organic Law for the General Organization of the Educational System of 1990. This legislation called for the reorganization of the academic system of compulsory education for children from the ages of 6 to 16. Its purpose was to increase the quality of the educational system by including periodic assessment and evaluation, as well as the improvement of professional teacher training and the establishment of general educational objectives for the whole student population.

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