Discrimination against church schools makes a myth of free education
IN a week when An Post issued a stamp to commemorate the 50th anniversary of the introduction of free secondary education in Ireland there has been much controversy about a Tralee school’s request for an annual voluntary contribution.
Free secondary education is a myth, when most Irish secondary schools insist upon more costly bespoke uniform items and parents are obliged to spend an average of €200 on school text books and stationery. Added to this, almost all church secondary schools demand an annual ‘voluntary contribution’, averaging in excess of €150 per student to supplement school income. The contribution is needed because church schools have €526 per teacher deducted by government from their annual capitation budgets.
Ireland’s Federation of Catholic Secondary Schools Parents’ Associations has recently launched a campaign to rectify the present unjust financial discrimination against their children’s schools and work hard to make free education a reality. We need our local TDs to give full backing to this equality initiative.
Sincerely, Alan Whelan, Killarney.