Wednesday 21 April 2021

Councils want to stop funding religious schools bus services

Local councils are urging junior education minister Sander Dekker to stop requiring them to pay for special buses to take primary school pupils to orthodox religious schools.

Some 6,000 primary school pupils and 10,000 children in special education are taken to mainly strict Protestant schools on a daily basis because there is no school closer to home which meet’s their parents beliefs.

‘Parents themselves choose to send their children to strict religious schools. The government should no longer pay for this,’ VVD parliamentarian Karin Straus is quoted as saying by Trouw.

Freedom

Dekker does not want to abolish the bus services because it would conflict with freedom of education rules.

Martin Ekker, alderman for education on Kampen town council, said the special bus service costs his council €60,000 a year. ‘Parents can choose whatever school they like for their child, but they should pay for it,’ he told a special parliamentary hearing.

According to Trouw, parliament is likely to pressure Dekker into changing his position.

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