14 September 2004
PPTA backs calls for more funding
A study into school funding provides further evidence that schools are struggling to provide quality educational outcomes on their existing operational funding, PPTA president Phil Smith said today.
The New Zealand Council for Education Research study of 18 effective schools found that the schools exhibited robust financial management but that generally they could not provide the current standard of education on government funding alone.
The study also shows that schools in the study were responding to the Government’s call to customise teaching more closely to individual student needs, rather than taking a “one size fits all” approach to education, but in doing so were forced to be increasingly reliant on non-government funding.
The study, commissioned by the New Zealand School Trustees Association, follows research from the PPTA’s Principals Council that found that locally raised funding grew nearly six times faster than operational funding between 1992-2001.
Mr Smith said PPTA acknowledged that the current Government had increased operational funding beyond the level of general inflation. However, the extra costs imposed on schools were still outstripping those funding increases.
PPTA wants the Ministry of Education to undertake an independent investigation into the true funding needs of schools, establish a “Red Tape” commission to reduce schools’ compliance costs and develop a needs-based index on which to base future government grants.
“There needs to be a major review of education funding and more substantially a review of the extra costs that schools have had to cope with in the last few years,’ he said.
“Under-funding of public education has been going on for years. For example, no one has funded schools for copyright, or even the extra costs associated with NCEA.
“Education is currently no longer free, but worse still, the gap has grown between the education that the ‘have’ schools can provide and what the ‘have not’ schools can provide,” Mr Smith said.