STF judges validity of half-price for public school teachers

This week, ADIn 3,753 is on trial in the virtual plenary of the STF, which challenges the validity of São Paulo law 10,858/01, which institutes half-price for teachers of the state public education network in establishments that provide leisure and entertainment.

STF begins to judge the validity of the São Paulo law that instituted half-price for public school teachers.(Image: Fellipe Sampaio /SCO/STF)

The action began in 2006, by the then governor of the state of São Paulo, Cláudio Lembo, who asked the STF, as a precautionary measure, that the law be annulled. For him, the contested rule would have usurped the Union’s exclusive competence to discipline economic activities, essentially governed by civil and commercial codes and laws (CF, art. 22, I), in addition to contradicting the constitutional principle of isonomy (CF, article 5), ” to the extent that it privileges solely and exclusively teachers from the public school system of state schools, removing all other teachers from enjoying the benefit instituted by it, whether from the federal and municipal spheres, or those who exercise teaching in the private sector of teaching.”

Alesp provided clarification in the sense that (i) the measure provided for in the regulation, instead of generating a drop in income, increases the profitability of companies in the leisure and entertainment sector, due to the increase in public; (ii) the objective of the questioned law was to promote access to culture for teachers from the state public network, in order to enrich their training and, consequently, of the students themselves; (iii) the competence to legislate on economic law is concurrent among the member states, the Federal District and the Union; (iv) the criterion of discrimination used by the rule is in line with the principle of equality.

Principle of isonomy

Minister Dias Toffoli, rapporteur, voted to recognize the constitutionality of the São Paulo law. In the analysis of the logical compatibility of said factor of discrimination with the differentiated treatment given to teachers of state and municipal public schools, the minister noted that the constitutional controversy unfolds to the constitutional legitimacy of granting half-price to teachers, and not to other professional categories, and to the alleged offense to the isonomy.

Regarding the principle of isonomy, Minister Dias Toffoli claimed that the differentiation created by the norm within the same professional category is fully justified, on the one hand, because as a public policy strategy it is combined with the absolute prioritization of basic education, on the one hand, constitutional and legal force of command; on the other hand, because even if one admits the intervention of the State in the economic order for the realization of relevant constitutional values.

Within this perspective, he considered the adoption of half-price to be legitimate as far as teachers are concerned, in relation to other professional categories.

“Still with regard to the São Paulo norm, it is necessary to pay attention to the fact that, by not including, in the half-price benefit, teachers belonging to the private network and those linked to the federal education network, the attacked legislation did not act in an anti-isonomic way.”

Finally, the judge concluded that The intrinsic relationship between education, culture and sport cannot be denied, so that the granting of the half-price benefit to teachers, for admission to cultural establishments and sporting events, is a measure that promotes and encourages, notably with the school community , access to such goods and rights enshrined in the Magna Carta.

“From the facilitation of this access to teachers, there is an enrichment of teaching practice with the adoption of more current, dynamic pedagogical techniques connected to the economic and social reality, which, ultimately, leads to the re-signification of the educational process itself and the development of sensitivity towards the multiple cultures coexisting in the national territory.”

The trial is scheduled to end by Friday, the 8th. For now, two more ministers voted and followed the vote of Dias Toffoli: ministers Alexandre de Moraes and Cármen Lúcia.

See the rapporteur’s vote.

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