Country information for Austria - Financing of inclusive education systems
Different institutions in the Austrian provinces decide in different ways whether a learner presents special educational needs (SEN) that justify the allocation of additional resources (additional care and/or support lessons). In public kindergartens in Salzburg, for example, the social inclusion of children with disabilities has become legally binding since an amendment to the Kindergarten Act in 1996. Since the 2000/2001 school year, about 2% of all kindergarten children have received additional staff resources in Salzburg.
Obligatory attendance from the age of five is free throughout the country. In some provinces, such as Upper Austria, attendance at early childhood education settings is free from the age of 36 months (Source: IECE – Austria Country Survey Questionnaire, p. 1).
Funding of compulsory schools
The construction and maintenance of schools is principally the competence of the municipalities and, in some cases, of the provinces. Staff resources are deployed by the federal government and administered by the provincial governments.
Funding of special needs support in compulsory schools
The federal government provides the provinces with funding for additional staff resources for special needs education (for 2.7% of all pupils aged between 6 and 15). The municipalities are responsible for additional equipment required for learners with SEN. Special measures, such as therapeutic support and devices, are funded by the provinces according to the Provincial Disability Acts.
Financial aid for families who have children with disabilities
Families who have children with disabilities are supported through allowances, benefits and tax reliefs. The increased family allowance and the nursing allowance depend on the child’s age and disability. Furthermore, a tax reduction is possible when there are extraordinary expenses (hospital costs, therapeutic care, etc.). In addition, families who have children with disabilities are granted an income tax allowance.
Financial aid for families also covers additional costs, such as technical aids, therapy, early intervention, travel expenses, and additional costs for day-care institutions. These costs are borne by the health authorities, disabled relief associations and insurance companies. Further financial support is provided, for example, in the form of fare reductions in public transport, or benefits for extraordinary expenses (rents, insurance, heating costs, etc.). Since 1 January 2007, people over 18 have received a monthly social benefit pension in case they have no income of their own. The amount of this pension does not depend on their parents’ income. Further information (in German) is available from the Lebenshilfe association website.
Last updated 12/04/2018