Responding to concerns about the state of the city’s pre- and grade schools, the City of Reykjavík voted today to allocate ISK 920 million (USD 8 million, EUR 7.1 million) to various parts of the schools’ operation, RÚV reports. In effect, this means an additional ISK 230 million (USD 2 million, EUR 1.8 million), since the city had already included a demand for ISK 670 million (USD 5.8 million, EUR 5.2 million) of cost-cutting efforts in its current budget.
Mayor Dagur B. Eggertsson told reporters today that the action plan was prepared for two reasons: There had been a turnaround in the finances of the city, and, also, that major worries had been expressed by pre- and grade schools, and by parents worried about the difficult financial situation and foreseeable cuts in service.
Special education will receive added funding, as will school supplies, professional service, school bussing, and, by raising the price of meal plans, more money will be spent on school lunches. The schools have been harshly criticized lately for their low-quality meal service.
In addition, more funding will be supplied to provide school directors with information, consultation and support regarding finances and operation.
When asked whether today’s decision doesn’t confirm that the cost-cutting plan had been unrealistic and the financial need of schools underestimated, the director of the city’s education and recreation department, Skúli Helgason, admitted that was true to a certain extent. He stated, however, that parts of the cost-cutting demands had been timely and necessary, for example the emphasis on reducing the schools’ cost of housing.