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Education cuts hurt disadvantaged children – Crowe

26 April, 2011 - by Seán Crowe TD

Speaking as he attended the three national teachers’unions conferences, Sinn Féin Spokesperson on Education Seán Crowe has hit out at Minister Ruairí Quinn’s refusal to reverse the cuts that have been a millstone around the neck of the education system.

Deputy Crowe said that education cuts hurt disadvantaged children hardest and urged the Minister to bear this in mind when engaging in his proposed spending review.

Deputy Crowe said:

“As an opposition party spokesperson on Education Minister Ruairí Quinn correctly pointed to the fact that the education sector cannot take any further cuts. He correctly stated that the cap that has been placed on the number of Special Needs Assistants will mean that children with Special Educational Needs will not receive the help they deserve in order to see them through their education.

“The Minister was very right in his assessment back then but what he is doing now is very wrong. He has refused to reverse any of the previous budget cuts brought about by the previous Fianna Fáil government, he has said that he will not lift the cap on Special Needs Assistants and is currently examining ways to further cut resources from the education sector.

“Education cuts hurt disadvantaged children the hardest – those with special needs, those from disadvantaged communities, those who are new to the country. The Minister knows this and I would urge him to bear this in mind when engaging in his proposed spending review.

“Of course savings must be made in the public sector and of course wasteful spending must be tackled but this has to start at the top – by cutting TDs’ and Senators’ wages, by ending the culture of bonuses and obscene salaries in the state and semi-state sector, by asking those who have most to pay most.

“The education of our children and providing for disadvantaged children from all communities must not come second to paying off private bank debt and servicing the EU and IMF”.

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