8 September 2005
Key’s figures reveal bulk funding reality
John Key’s statement that the National Party would spend only $80 million to introduce compulsory bulk funding of teacher salaries next year if elected government confirms that some schools would be losers under the policy, PPTA general secretary Kevin Bunker said today.
He said the $80 million pledged fell well short of the $350 million per year to fund teacher salaries at the top of scale rate – the only way to ensure there were no loser schools under bulk funding.
“By finally telling us how much they would spend, Mr Key appears to have contradicted Bill English’s earlier promises of no loser schools in the move to bulk funding.
“$80 million is about the minimum amount that would be needed to ensure there were no loser schools amongst the 350 secondary schools but that doesn’t account for the more than 2000 primary schools.
“Even in the long term, $150 million per year is still less than half of what would be needed to ensure there were no loser schools in the primary and secondary sectors.”
Bunker said PPTA had opposed bulk funding since it was first mooted in the Picot report in 1988 because it was inequitable and did nothing to enhance educational achievement.
“In the long run it’s a mechanism for governments to reduce funding of schools while washing their hands of responsibility.
“It leads inevitably to inequality in the ability of schools to deliver high quality education to students in all areas of the country.”