Benefits for Schoolchildren and Apprentices/Trainees
Free Use of Public Transport for Schoolchildren
2 requirements must be fulfilled for schoolchildren to use public transport free of charge for the travel from their residence to school: family allowance must be received for the child and the school must be state-run or have public status if it is a private school. Free use of public transport will only be granted for travels to domestic schools or schools close to the border.
The application form and confirmation of school attendance has to be filed with the integrated transport alliance (Verkehrsverbund) or company or the regional centre of linked transport systems. The contribution towards costs per schoolchild and school year is a lump sum of 19.60 Euro.
Instead of the free transportation permit, pupils, apprentices and participants in a voluntary social year can also upgrade their permit to a network-wide ticket (such as the "TOP-Jugendticket" in VOR), as long as their residence or their school/place of apprenticeship are located within the transportation network of the integrated transport alliance. This requires a minimal increase in price for the ticket (between 77 and 119 Euro in total). Further information can be found online at the individual websites of the particular Verkehrsverbund.
School travel allowance (Schulfahrtbeihilfe)
If no suitable means of regular or special public transport is available, children may receive a school travel allowance. Again, the prerequisite is that the child is eligible for family allowance. The distance to school must be at least 2 km in one direction (no minimum distance applies if the child is disabled). A school travel allowance may also be applied for if the school curriculum includes a compulsory work placement and pupils have to travel to the location where they are placed every day for a certain period.
Depending on the distance to school and the number of days on which school is attended, the school travel allowance amounts to between 4.40 and 39.40 Euro per month. At the end of each school year, form Beih85 has to be used to apply for the allowance; the form can be obtained from the Tax Offices or from www.bmf.gv.at on the Internet.
Home travel allowance (Heimfahrtbeihilfe) for pupils
If pupils attend schools away from their main residence and stay at a secondary residence during the week, for example in boarding school, home travel allowance may be applied for to cover the travel from the main residence to the secondary residence. The home travel allowance amounts to 19 to 58 Euro per month, depending on the distance between the main and the secondary residence. The home travel allowance has to be applied for with the Tax Office by means of form Beih85. The form can be obtained from the Tax Offices or from www.bmf.gv.at on the Internet.
Travel allowance for apprentices (Fahrtenbeihilfe für Lehrlinge)
If no suitable means of regular public transport is available, apprentices may receive a travel allowance if they cannot avail themselves of free public transport. The distance to the training location must be at least 2 km in one direction and it has to be travelled at least 3 times a week. The distance does not apply in case of disabled apprentices who depend on a means of transport to cover the distance. If the distance to the training location is a maximum of 10 km or if the location is within the same municipality, the travel allowance amounts to 5.10 Euro per month. If the distance to work exceeds 10 km, it is 7.30 Euro per month. The allowance has to be applied for with the Tax Office at the place of residence at the end of the calendar year using form Beih94; the form can be obtained from the Tax Offices or from www.bmf.gv.at on the Internet.
Home travel allowance (Heimfahrtbeihilfe) for apprentices
If apprentices undergo training away from their main residence and stay at a secondary residence during the week, for example at or near the training location, for example in a boarding school, home travel alliances may be applied for to cover the travel from the main residence to the secondary residence. The home travel allowance amounts to 19 to 58 Euro per month, depending on the distance between the main and the secondary residence. The home travel allowance has to be applied for with the Tax Office by means of form Beih94. The form can be obtained from the Tax Offices or from www.bmf.gv.at on the Internet.
School textbook programme
As school books are provided to pupils, they are furnished with educational material free of charge, which also gives all pupils equal access to education and contributes to relieving the financial burden on parents.
All regularly enrolled pupils who attend school in Austria or are undergoing compulsory education in Austria as well as all non-regularly enrolled pupils preparing for an assessment are entitled to free school books.
School books are procured by the school via school-book orders, distributed at the beginning of the school year and then owned by the pupils.
Schools have to adhere to a ceiling on spending per pupil depending on the type of school, which is usually sufficient to buy the basic books required. There are separate spending limits for religious books, digital school books, pre-school, special schools, for bilingual tuition and tuition in the mother tongue, as well as for pupils whose mother tongue is not German ("German as a second language"). Schools order school books and other teaching aids within the limits of the total budget available (school book limit per pupil x number of pupils) from school book lists.
For some school books there is digital supplementary material, so that digital teaching aids can be used. With the aid of interactive and multimedial E-Book+ (digital school books), digital learning has been introduced via an own digital budget for secondary schools.
Moreover, there are "self-selected teaching aids" (CD-ROMs, tapes for language tuition, (digital) learning games, learning apps as well as other printed and audio-visual teaching aids), therapeutic teaching aids for pupils with disabilities and school books for vision-impaired and blind pupils.These "self-selected teaching aids" can be procured by a maximum of 15 percent of the total school book budget.
By re-using school books, schools can order fewer books, thus being able to save money.