December 16, 2004
NZEI Concern At Possible Impact Of School Funding Changes
NZEI Te Riu Roa is concerned the number of Maori and Pasifika students at a school will no longer be a factor in determining how much funding a school receives under the decile system, which is aimed at overcoming socio economic factors that impact on a child’s educational performance.
Trevor Mallard, announced the change today as the Co-ordinating Minister Race Relations, as part of his review of government funding aimed at showing that the funding is based on need not ethnicity. He announced that having a high proportion of Maori and Pasifika students will no longer be one of the factors that enables a school to receive extra funding through the decile system.
“Research clearly shows that there is a need to provide extra support for Maori and Pasifika children to overcome the educational disadvantages they face,” says NZEI Te Riu Roa National President, Colin Tarr.
“Until now that need has been recognised through the decile funding system and NZEI is concerned that the change announced today could mean that need is not met.”
“NZEI does not want to see any child disadvantaged and we will be looking closely at the impact this change to decile funding has on schools and their ability to provide learning programmes and resources for students who have particular needs.” “The union is pleased an extra $27 million is being provided to schools through their operations grants next year, as any extra funding is always welcome. But we note this will have to be spread across almost two and a half thousand schools,” says Colin Tarr.
“NZEI believes it’s time to stop tinkering with school funding. The system needs a complete overhaul, in particular funding for support staff.”
“The current system of paying support staff entirely from a school’s operations grant means they lack job security and results in many not being paid the salaries they are entitled to under their collective agreements,” says Colin Tarr.