May 16, 2024
Funding for the schoolbook scheme should not have been cut – Sorca Clarke TD

Sinn Féin TD for Longford-Westmeath, Sorca Clarke has said that funding for the schoolbook scheme should not have been cut.

Teachta Clarke said:

“In 2023, Minister Foley introduced the schoolbook scheme which she stated was ‘a permanent measure’ that will ‘ease some of the financial burden facing families with back-to-school costs’.

“Little over a year on from the introduction of the schoolbook scheme, government has decided to cut the funding for the scheme from €96 to €80 per child.

“This is a significant reduction in funding for schools. 

“At the rate government is going this ‘permanent’ measure is at risk of being phased out overtime.

“How can government justify a €16 cut in funding per child amidst a cost-of-living crisis?

“I welcome the continuation of the schoolbook scheme, however, this cut in funding, in just over a year, is of serious concern for many schools and parents.

“Surplus of the schoolbook grant is supposed to go towards stationary costs and other materials in order to help reduce the financial strain that is placed on parents. However, many worried parents have reached out after being contacted by their respective schools to say that due to the reduction in funding, it may not be possible for the school to cover these extra costs.

“Sinn Féin understand the importance and the need for education that is truly affordable.

“We believe that it is critical to adequately invest in our education system and our young people, because they are the future.

“It is crucial to ensure that everyone starts off on an equal footing. That everyone has equal access to the necessary tools and resources required to increase their ability to reach their full potential.

“A Sinn Féin government would progress us down a path with a range of measures that would eliminate and reduce costs spanning primary school through to secondary, higher and further education.

“The Minister must now address this issue immediately and explain the reasoning behind the reduction of the money allocated for the schoolbook scheme.”

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