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Education funding does not represent real increase – O’Brien

14 October, 2014 - by Jonathan O'Brien TD

Speaking after today’s budget in Leinster House, Jonathan O’Brien TD has described the increased funding and subsequent teacher numbers announced as simply keeping pace with demand and that little had been done to ease the burden placed on third level students before they even take up college places.

Deputy O’Brien said:

“We acknowledge the increase in teachers and SNAs but this is only to meet the demographic change. It is not going to make any significant change to schools or pupils. The third level student contribution fee is still rising to €3,000. This will lead to some students having to leave their courses and possibly seek the assistance of social welfare or leave the country in search of work.”

“This year we will see a further 1% reduction in primary and post-primary capitation grants, a further 1% reduction in Capitation Rates for VTOS, Youthreach, BTEI, PLC, Adult Literacy, and a further 1% reduction in core pay and non-pay for higher education institutions. Sinn Féin had called for a 1% increase across the board which would have benefited parents and students who are being asked to pay higher voluntary donations that they simply cannot afford.”

“While there’s an increase to teacher numbers, the Department of Education civil servants were very clear in advising the Minister that further cuts to capitation would mean that schools could not afford to stay open. It will actually make it more expensive to keep children in schools because parents will be forced to make up the budget where it has been cut by the Government through reduced capitation grants.”

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