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Let’s get the school funding facts right!

11 August 2005

Let’s get the school funding facts right!

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Correction
Visionschools unreservedly apologizes for an earlier statement that inferred that NZEI and / or PPTA subscriptions are used to fund the Labour party campaign. We are assured by the parties concerned that this is not the case, and we regret the error.

Pauline Mundie
Visionschools

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Many educators are uncomfortable with the misinformation that is once again being used to knock Bulk Funding, which is again in the limelight, pre-election. Despite comments to the contrary, let us be quite clear that although in the early days of Bulk Funding, teachers salaries were bulk-funded to schools at an “average” teachers salary level, thus creating winner and loser schools, the amount of money schools received under the various forms of bulk funding evolved over time

In latter times from 1999 under the revised form called Direct Resourcing, the formula was such that there were NO loser schools. All 'directly resourced' (ie. bulk funded) schools were funded at the top pay rate for teachers (ie those with the highest qualifications and most experience), not the earlier 'average' amount.

Even a school with a full complement of highly paid teachers would have been no worse off under bulk funding. Bulk funding also meant that any increase in the top salary paid to teachers was immediately translated into higher funding for schools.

All schools, including bulk funded, were and still are, bulk funded for the operations grant. Bulk funding of teacher salaries is a separate issue from the operations grant. Interestingly, bulk funding of the operations grant is non-controversial.

The advantage of bulk funding is that it gives schools the freedom to spend their budgets so as to best meet the needs of local communities. It is about how schools are funded, not how much they are funded. You can have poorly funded or well funded schools irrespective of whether they are bulk funded or centrally resourced. The issue of how much schools should be funded is an important, but separate issue.

Pauline Mundie

Chairperson Visionschools

ENDS

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