Spend on new school buildings cut following Budget 2020

Spend on new school buildings cut following Budget 2020

The spend on new school buildings has seen a cut following Budget 2020 despite an additional allocation of €300 million to the Department of Education.

The overall capital budget will be €19 million less going into 2020, a 2% reduction on last year.

At a time of increasing student numbers, spending on school buildings and other facilities will also see a reduction of €2 million when compared to last year, down from €672 million in 2019 to €670 million.

The reduction in capital will not affect school building projects planned for the year ahead, according to Joe McHugh, the Minister for Education.

An understanding has also been developed with the Department of Public Expenditure and Reform (DPER) to move funding from capital to current expenditure to protect frontline services, he added.

While a 2.5% increase in the capitation grant is welcome, Budget2020 failed to deliver the investment needed to address "growing strains", according to the Catholic Primary School Management Association (CPSMA).

“Minister McHugh clearly and correctly identified the areas in need of increased investment in primary education," said Seamus Mulconry, CPSMA general secretary.

"However, his colleague the Minister for Finance has once more failed to deliver the required level of investment needed to address growing strains in the primary education system.”

“Government underinvestment is pushing teaching principals to breaking point, picking the pockets of parents to the tune of €46m a year, and most importantly breaching the constitutional rights of Irish children to a free primary education," he added.

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