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National's Tax Cuts Threaten Children's Education

National's Tax Cuts Threaten Children's Education

"Children's education is threatened by National's planned tax cuts," says NZEI Te Riu Roa National President, Colin Tarr.

National's finance spokesperson, John Key, has admitted that the party's tax cuts would be partially funded by cuts to Ministry of Education staff. Colin Tarr says at least 80 percent of these staff are in fact "frontline" people working directly with special needs children.(1)

Other Ministry staff, for example Early Childhood Development unit members, work with parents and communities to help establish early childhood centres.

"Mr Key is clearly wrong if he believes these workers are not front line staff who can be cut and there will be no impact on children's education."

"It appears that Mr Key believes that anyone who works for the Ministry of Education, who is not a teacher, is not involved in education, so can be axed." "This shows a dangerous lack of understanding of how the education sector works and the support that teachers and other 'frontline' education staff need to be able to do their job effectively," say Colin Tarr.

(1) On January 1 this year the Ministry of Education was employing 2300 full time equivalents. 1821 of them, or approximately 80% work in special education as speech and language therapists, education psychologists, occupational therapists, and physiotherapists and were brought back into the Ministry in 2002. They were previously employed by the Specialist Education Service.

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