Monday 10 August 2020

Amsterdam schools face ultimatum over parental contributions

Amsterdam city council says it will stop giving extra subsidies to schools which ask parents for more than €225 a year in voluntary contributions.

Parental contributions, used by schools to fund extras such as music lessons or lunchtime supervision, prove an obstacle to poorer families and increase inequality in educational opportunities, education alderman Marjolein Moorman has told councillors.

‘Amsterdam is a city in which every child should have equal opportunites and no parent should be put off by high contributions,’ she said. The upper limit will be lowered again to €112, the city average, in the 2021-22 academic year.

Some schools in the city ask parents for as much as €700 a year in extra funding, according to local broadcaster AT5.

Schools are largely funded by central government but local authorities provide top-up money which is used to pay for specialised teaching help for cultural and gym as well as extra support staff.

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