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Parents Think Twice Before They Pay School Fees

Parents Should Think Twice Before They Pay School fees

From John Minto National Chairperson

QPEC is advising parents to think twice before paying school fees – the so-called “voluntary donations” charged by schools each year.

These fees have grown dramatically under Tomorrows Schools so that most schools now require payment of several hundred dollars in school fees. Alongside subject fees, examination fees, stationery and uniform costs the situation is getting out of hand with “user pays” replacing free education.

The reason for these fees is that the gap is increasing every year between government funding and what each school knows is required to provide quality education. It has reached the point where secondary schools must now find a whopping 17% of the day to day running costs of the school from charging fees to parents or from other means.

Parents should instead send their fees invoices to the Minister of Education (Postage free to Parliament Buildings, Wellington) Last year the government had a $5.5 billion budget surplus so the taxation has already been collected meet the cost of free education.

We don’t want to create difficulties for schools in suggesting this but schools need to work more closely with parents to pressure the government to foot the bill for quality education instead of seeing parents as a “soft touch” to make up the funding shortfall.

When they send out fees invoices to parents this year it would be nice to think that schools would include a copy of a letter to the Minister of Education requesting government funding which would make fees redundant.

It is the government rather than parents which must be pressured to turn the myth of free education into a reality.

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