Wednesday 16 January 2019

Labour bids to cut €90m subsidy for fee-paying schools

Michael Brennan

EDUCATION Minister Ruairi Quinn is facing a motion from his own party this weekend to terminate the €90m state subsidy for private secondary schools.

It will revive the debate about paying teachers' salaries in the country's 55 fee-paying schools, at a time when the State is cutting back on teacher numbers in disadvantaged schools.

If the motion is passed at Labour's annual conference in Galway this weekend, it will become official party policy.

The motion, due to be voted on at the conference venue in NUI Galway, states: "Conference supports an end to the €90m public subsidy of private schools."

The motion represents a challenge to Mr Quinn, who last year rejected a call for the abolition of the private school subsidy from the Teachers' Union of Ireland.

But even if the motion is passed, Mr Quinn will need agreement from his Fine Gael Cabinet colleagues to make changes.

Mr Quinn is currently carrying out a review of how private schools spend the fees they receive from parents, estimated at up to €120m per year.

Irish Independent

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