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Rural schools being hammered by the Government – Ó Clochartaigh

22 February, 2012

The Government has sacrificed rural schools in it’s u-turn on DEIS cuts according to Sinn Féin Seanad Spokesperson on Rural Affairs, Trevor Ó Clochartaigh.

The Galway West Senator was speaking in the Seanad today following the publication of the review on DEIS Schools, which reversed much of the cuts to urban DEIS schools but overlooked rural schools.

Senator Ó Clochartaigh said:

“I wish I could welcome the outcome of the review to DEIS schools but I simply cannot given that significant cuts to small rural schools remain. While of course it is positive that 235 posts due to be cut are to be retained in DEIS band 1and 2 schools in urban areas, it is a disgrace that rather than all these cuts being reversed entirely, the Minister has cynically decided that the burden must fall inequitably on rural schools.

“192 posts, from primary schools outside DEIS Band 1 and 2 and from DEIS second level will be cut, many of them in rural areas, and some 73 schools nationally may lose a teacher from September 2012.

“Indeed Rural schools are being hit doubly hard, as the Government is now further reducing their capitation funding to pay for this reversal. Why didn't he hit the private schools instead, the majority of which are in the Tanáiste and Minister for Education's own constituencies and which receive €100m in State funding annually? He still hasn't addressed the threat to 1 to 4 teacher schools either.”

“There needs to be a debate with the Minister on this matter as he clearly doesn’t understand the implication of these cuts and is attempting to quieten his urban colleagues without dealing with the issues of the rural schools in an equally equitable fashion. He cannot be allowed to do so. This Government, for all its rhetoric is showing itself to be among the most anti-rural Governments in the History of the state.”

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