Alliance Party Leader David Ford has slammed the announcement that money will not be found for three integrated schools despite parental support.
David Ford stated: “This is decision is as callous as it is outrageous. How dare the Department of Education deny parents’ expressed desire to see their children educated together? How on earth do they hope to create a genuinely shared future for us all if they deny children a shared present? Once again, the Department is promoted segregation – and doing so at great cost.
“When will the Minister and the Department grasp that integrated education is not just a moral option? The truth is that it also saves money! Where on earth is the point of paying for two sets of buildings and resources when one will suffice with parental consent.
“This particularly applies at Rowallane, where over 100 parents had already expressed their support for integration.
“The Department tells us it cannot afford crossing patrols, it cannot afford fair pay for teachers, and it cannot afford after-school facilities – yet it can afford hundreds of millions to promote segregation in schooling. Most people – particularly those hit with rates rises – will see this for the cynical decision making it is.
“If the Department is prepared to invest money, we must know that that money is being promoted with maximum efficiency. Providing ongoing support for two sets of everything contrary to parental wishes is doing precisely the opposite.
“The Department of Education is fiddling while the rate payers who pay for all these unnecessary extras are burning.