Fianna Fáil TD for Cavan-Monaghan Brendan Smith has called on the Minister for Education to provide clarity on when the Minor Works Grant will be paid to schools.
Deputy Smith commented, “The State currently only meets 53% of the running costs of schools. Cuts to the capitation grant mean that parents are forced to foot rest of this bill to the tune of over €46m per year through contributions or fund raising. This inadequate level of funding provided by the government to schools leaves parents in debt, schools unable to operate or plan, and pupils’ education impacted.
“The Minor Works Grant provides vital funding for schools for things like building and grounds improvements, furniture and IT equipment. However, even with the grant, along with the work of parents and local communities across Ireland, some schools are still finding themselves in debt.
“As it stands, schools must go from year to year, unsure when or if this payment will be made available. This practice is unacceptable and must end. Fianna Fáil is calling for this payment to be put on a statutory basis to be paid each November.
“We are already into November and are still waiting on the Minister to make an announcement on the funding for next year. This creates serious pressure for schools trying to budget for the year ahead and I am urging Minister McHugh to make the announcement without any further delay”.