6 August 2004
Bill English should come clean about bulk funding
If Bill English’s complaint that schools are using their own meagre resources to prop up teachers’ salaries is a case for bulk funding, he had better come out and say it, said PPTA President Phil Smith.
Phil Smith was responding to comments the National Party education spokesperson made yesterday, where he claimed schools were paying 8 per cent of New Zealand’s teachers outside the government salary system.
“It’s pretty rich for Bill English to complain about a problem his party created last time it was in government,” said Phil Smith.
“What he needs to understand is that schools are simply doing this to restore teacher numbers that were stripped away by National’s failed bulk funding experiment of the 1990s.”
“Over 1,000 secondary teachers were removed from the national staffing formula leaving schools to pick up the shortfall. At the same time the National party made no provision for the increased number of teachers that would be required to accommodate rising student numbers believing foolishly that ‘the market would deliver’.”
“Having created the problem he’s now trying to claim it’s a problem of the national staffing formula. He has to acknowlege that where National cut staffing Labour is set to add 1900 more teachers.
“If the new agenda is a second round of divisive bulk funding, then he should stop being coy and come clean about it.”