Michael Fitzmaurice, newly elected Independent TD for Roscommon-South Leitrim has expressed his disappointment that there is no sign of relief for small rural schools in the recent budget. He is now calling on the Ministers for Finance and Education to hold out a lifeline to our small rural schools in the Finance Bill before it is too late.
Fitzmaurice has experience of the pressure small schools are being put under and that the Principals of schools and their boards of management are forced with trying to make ends meet instead of being able to devote all of their time and energy to the education of our children. In addition to covering the curriculum they are forced to organise cake sales and raffles to try and fund the education of our children. “Parents must look at the figures” says Fitzmaurice “and they will see for themselves that our schools are being run on a shoestring”
Fitzmaurice notes that the Minister, in his budget speech, reminds us of the growth that is projected for the coming year and still our small schools are left behind. “I am calling on the Minister to make the necessary changes in the Finance Bill so that provision is made for the payment of the ‘Minor Works Grant’ before the end of the current school year.”
“The rug has been pulled from under our schools through reductions in the capitation grant and small schools have also been unfairly targeted so that the enrolment they need to retain their teaching staff has been increased” says Michael.
“If the Minister is so confident of growth in the economy surely he must now, at least, make a start at redressing the cruel cuts that have been imposed and are threatening the very existence of so many small schools” said Michael Fitzmaurice TD.