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O’Brien calls for overhaul of school funding system

3 February, 2014 - by Jonathan O'Brien TD

Following reports that eight of the most affluent schools in Ireland received almost €50,000 in extra funding from the State in 2012 as a result of a tax refund scheme, Deputy Jonathan O’Brien said that this was further benefiting schools where parents could afford to contribute.

The Sinn Féin Education Spokesperson said;

“It has emerged from Revenue figures that the State distributed €1.4million to 140 schools under a tax break scheme.

“There are difficulties with the voluntary contribution scheme from the off in that the dogs in the street could tell you that these contributions are in no way voluntary.

“Parents much of the time don’t actually know how their contributions are being spent and on what.

“And now we have a situation where students from more affluent backgrounds where parents have more money will be rewarded with extra financing from the state as a result.

“This type of scheme is fundamentally inequitable.

“I can understand from the schools’ perspective that they are desperate to fundraise, but the manner in which the State oversees education funding results in a tiered education system.

“Back to school costs are only increasing and there needs to be an overhaul of how we view education, funding, and the notion of parents paying for education.

“It should not be a case where good school conditions are the privilege of those with the cash to pay for it.

“Ideally, the payment of voluntary contributions should be scrapped altogether.”

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