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Primary schools €82million in debt - Doherty

10 April, 2008


Speaking today at a meeting of the Oireachtas Education and Science Committee Sinn Féin Education Spokesperson Senator Pearse Doherty said €82million will have to be raised by parents, friends and school boards this year to cover the debts of primary schools throughout the state.

Senator Doherty described this situation as unacceptable and called for incremental increases in education spending until we reach international best practice of 6% of GDP.

He said, "On average, after receiving all funding available from the state, each primary school is in debt of €23,000. This means that €82million will have to be raised by parents, friends and school boards this year to cover the debts of primary schools throughout the state.

"This situation is completely unacceptable. Parents have enough to worry about without having the additional burden of having to fundraise just to keep their children's schools up and running.

"If we are to become leaders in education and if we are really to build the knowledge based economy that this Government talks so much about then investment must be forthcoming. At the very least the Minister must produce a plan to incrementally increase spending in education to meet the international best practice of 6% of GDP as soon as is possible.

"This problem could be resolved overnight if the Minister and her Government lived up to the promise to double the capitation grant for schools. I am calling on her to do just that." ENDS

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