Govt penalises Mayo schools with book rental schemes

School BooksThe Government has confirmed to Mayo Deputy Dara Calleary that it intends to penalise the schools that made sacrifices to introduce their own school book rental schemes by not providing them with any funding for the schemes.

In reply to a Parliamentary Question from Deputy Calleary, the Minister for Education Ruairí Quinn said his Department’s school book rental scheme will not be available to those schools that have established their own schemes.

It means that these schools, that fundraised heavily and took money from other areas of their school budget to provide such a scheme, are losing out on significant State funding.

Deputy Calleary explained, “This is disgraceful discrimination against the schools that made a huge effort to ease the burden on parents by providing their own school book rental scheme.  Finding the funding would not have been easy for these schools – they had to make sacrifices, engage in fundraising drives and cut money from elsewhere in their budgets to get their book rental scheme up and running.

“Essentially the Minister is penalising schools that took the initiative to start their own book rental scheme.  While he is now providing other schools with significant funding to start book rental schemes, he is refusing to compensate the schools that made the effort to start a scheme of their own.

 

“In his reply to my questions, the Minister congratulated the schools that have established their own school book rental schemes.   But he went on to say that he has no intention of compensating them for this.  The Minister needs to know that ‘congratulations’ is not enough.  These schools must be given funding to compensate them for the cuts they had to make to establish their own rental scheme.”