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Bulk Funding Would Cause Unnecessary Upheaval

Media Release June 27, 2005
From NZEI Te Riu Roa For Immediate Use
Ms05/21

Imposing Bulk Funding Would Cause Unnecessary Upheaval In Our Schools

National would cause unnecessary disruption to schools by imposing bulk funding on boards and principals.

In his speech at National’s conference in Wellington the party’s education spokesperson, Bill English stated: “No ifs, no buts and no fighting in school communities over whether to have it. Everyone is going bulk funding, it’s a political decision. We’re not going to make boards and principals make that decision, politicians will decide. National has decided and that’s where we’re going.”

“Many schools will resist being forced into having a bulk fund to cover all their staff salaries, including teachers’ salaries, because they know it doesn’t work,” says NZEI Te Riu Roa National President, Colin Tarr.

Support staff in primary and secondary schools are already bulk funded from each school’s operations grant. This causes principals and boards major problems as they struggle to pay their support staff and meet their operating costs from the ops grant.

“This situation would only get worse if they also had to pay teachers from the same bulk fund,” says Colin Tarr.

Experience overseas shows that bulk funding does nothing to enhance children’s learning in schools.

“We should learn from what has happened with bulk funded charter school models in other countries, says Colin Tarr, “They have been under funded and when they are able to bypass collective employment agreements they employ greater numbers of inexperienced and cheaper teachers.”

Bill English’s insistence that bulk funding will be imposed on principals and boards, who are parents, contradicts National’s core election promise of providing parents with more choice in their children’s education.

“The National Party’s education policies are based on a market approach of having bulk funding, site based bargaining, excluding teacher unions and performance pay,” says Colin Tarr “This simplistic and ideological model will do nothing to develop an effective school system that will enhance our children’s learning.”

ENDS

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