North Tipperary Deputy Michael Lowry has criticised the Government for bringing forward a book rental grant scheme where the vast majority of schools will not even be able to apply for assistance.
The Independent T.D. for Tipperary criticised the Government for automatically precluding and discriminating against schools who have been proactive in setting up their own rental schemes. Essentially they are being penalised for being proactive and for having the foresight to do so, and many are now not eligible for the grant scheme.
Deputy Lowry told The Tipperary Star this week in a statement that;
“It is my firm belief that this grant scheme should be open to all schools. The Government have set out a blanket ban preventing schools with any form of book rental scheme from applying, they have failed to examine the extent of these schemes, whether they are available to all pupils or only on a phased basis, whether it is a rental scheme for one book or all books.”
“Many schools have listened to the concerns of parents and will have scrimped, saved and sacrificed to put a book rental scheme in place to assist their pupils and their families.
“They may have cut back on their costs or held fundraisers. To say that they are not entitled to any assistance or grant aid from the state is a slap in the face.”
“Many schools with some form of book rental would benefit greatly from grant aid. I was recently contacted by one school who have such a scheme in place for junior infants only, and are desperate to bring a book rental scheme into being for older classes.”
“The Government should be cognisant of these hands-on schools who have taken the initiative and should be helping them build and grow their schemes,” Deputy Lowry concluded.
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