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Labour Puts Dollars Before Children

Media Release
Tuesday, October 14, 2003

Labour puts Dollars before Children

OPSA today voiced support of the Quality Public Education Coalition's calls for the government to use projected reductions in student numbers to improve teacher-to-student ratios, rather than to close schools ( http://www.qpec.org.nz/Class_sizes_-_MR_-_12_October_2003.doc-html/).

The very first recommendation of Labour's 2001 Staffing Review Report was the "reduction of the primary school Maximum Average Class Size from 28 to 25", explaining that the effect on small primary schools would be to "benefit from a reduction in the maximum Average Class Size (MACS) to 25 from 28."

Instead the government is proposing to close 300 schools as student numbers drop by a projected 70,000 over the next 15 years.

"To close schools rather than take advantage of dropping rolls to improve student-to-teacher ratios tells me the government's direction for education funding will continue to fail to address years of under-funding." said OPSA President, Michelle Watt.

"Not only is this the wrong direction for education funding, but school closures will also have negative flow-on effects for local communities" said Michelle Watt.

Further Information

Michelle Watt OPSA President (03) 477-6974 021-1121-789 opsaprez@tekotago.ac.nz


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