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Lack of education funding is a no-win situation

Lack of education funding is a no-win situation for parents

School trustees say parents are in a no-win situation over lack of education funding.

New Zealand School Trustees Association President Chris Haines says schools cannot provide everything they are required to within current government funding levels. Increasingly, locally raised funds are used to cover the shortfalls.

“Remember the last time your child brought home a school newsletter. Did it involve a request for money? In fact, was there a time that your child did a school activity that didn’t cost you money?

“If parents don’t pay voluntary contributions, their children risk missing out on educational opportunities. If they pay, then the government can effectively ignore the funding problem. It’s a no-win situation, regardless of whether you can afford to pay or not.”

Chris Haines says parents are facing more demands to pay their school donations as pressures on school funds increase.

He says over the last year, boards have had to cope with a range of government projects that have directly cost schools. These additional government imposed costs are increasingly being paid for from the nearly $200 million parents give in parental contributions and donations (often referred to as “fees”).

“The Minister of Education recently said he condemned the practice of schools sending out invoices and letters demanding payment of school donations. However, many boards are finding they have to raise funds to simply balance the books. This includes asking parents to pay donations.

“I am sure that parents would not have a problem with government topping up school funding, given the resistance boards face when chasing up school donations.”

NZSTA is asking the government to increase school funding and is asking for people to get involved and support their school on this issue.

Chris Haines says NZSTA wants people to show their support for their local school by joining the “speak out for your school” campaign. Details are available on the NZSTA website

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