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School Trustees seek funding boost

26 January 2005

School Trustees seek funding boost from $770 million Government underspend
The New Zealand School Trustees Association is calling on the Government to give schools a funding injection with the $770 million welfare underspend.

President Chris Haines says school boards of trustees will be hoping for a significant increase in their operations grants, given last night’s statement by Social Development and Employment Minister Steve Maharey that he would be returning $770 million of unspent money from the welfare budget to Finance Minister Dr Cullen. Mr Maharey made the comment on TV One’s “Close Up at Seven” programme.

“Schools boards of trustees face an increasing struggle to make ends meet on current government operations grant funding, and more and more are being forced to turn to locally raised funds to maintain basic programmes,” Chris Haines says.

With a $770 million underspend in the welfare budget, the Government can clearly afford to give schools a significant increase in operational grant funding in the 2005 budget, he says.

“This would be entirely appropriate given that schools are increasingly expected to undertake a number of what could be described as ‘social services’.”

Chris Haines says NZSTA looks forward to boards of trustees being adequately funded to run their schools, without the current need to prop up basic programmes through the use of locally raised funds.

“Let’s put the “free” back into free state education.”

ENDS


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