THE ESRI report points to differences in how the various types of second-level schools are funded, and how it can fall to parents to help fill the gap.
The State doesn't support all school sectors in the same way and a key finding is that, as a result, voluntary secondary schools – traditionally run by the religious – depend more on parental contributions to pay the bills.
Parents are paying up to €200 a year, and more, per child. This is on top of other costs such as uniforms, schoolbooks, art materials and so forth.
In the vocational and community and comprehensive sectors, many parents are also making a voluntary contribution but the level of payment tends to be less.
Whatever about the differences between the sectors, with the exception of fee-paying schools , no school can be called flush.
Since the crash, schools have suffered funding cuts that have left them struggling. But the roof or windows have to be repaired.
And too often, hard-up parents are being asked to pick up the tab.