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School Funding – No Winners in this Election!

School Funding – No Winners in this Election!

It has been disappointing to see some rather shallow reporting on school funding issues in recent days.

ALL public schools are underfunded – not just some – and the underfunding is most acute in low income communities.

It is true that the government gives a small amount of extra funding to these schools but this is overwhelmed by local funds received by schools in higher income communities through parent fees and foreign fee paying students.

A comparison between a Decile 1 public school with low parent fees and a Decile 10 school with the same number of students, average parent fees and 100 foreign fee-paying students found that the Decile 10 public school has 25% more income per student than the decile 1 school!

Strategic underfunding is one of the 2 key issues facing schools. The other is the long tail of student underachievement in working class communities.

Neither National nor Labour have credible policy to address either area.

National’s policy of bulk funding and privatisation will exacerbate the underachievement problems and while they are promising more funding for schools it will be based not on educational need but on short term gain for long term pain – bulk funding with a sweetener!

For its part Labour has no funding commitments, inspiring ideas or uplifting policies to address either of these critical issues.

QPEC’s analysis of the main parties’ education policies can be read on the QPEC website at

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