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Funding shortfall must be addressed

Media Release

27 September 2005

Funding shortfall must be addressed

The incoming government must urgently increase secondary schools’ operations funding to maintain a high quality public education system, PPTA president Debbie Te Whaiti said today.

In a speech to almost 200 secondary school teachers at the PPTA Annual Conference,
Te Whaiti said recent NZCER research confirmed that many schools simply needed more money.

“Schools are struggling to make ends meet on their operations grant alone and the decline in the overseas student market has demonstrated the folly of relying on foreign fee paying students to address the shortfall.

“Bitterness is building up as schools have had to do more with less and parents have to contribute increasingly substantial amounts to their children’s education.

“This is a festering source of dissatisfaction that needs to be attended to in the interests of public education.

“The next government must ensure that schools’ operations funding is set at a level that reflects the far greater costs that schools incur today because of health and safety, administration, assessment and compliance.”

Te Whaiti also said New Zealand had committed to the NCEA and it was now time to resource it properly.

“The story of NCEA’s introduction is a sad one that does no credit to the agencies of state and politicians responsible. PPTA expressed concern on a number of occasions about a range of issues connected with the way NCEA was being put into place and we were not taken very seriously.

“The resulting debacle has been a huge embarrassment for the government, the New Zealand Qualifications Authority and the Ministry of Education which was responsible for the resourcing.

“There are financial implications to making things work better that simply have to be faced if we are to have the whole system run fairly. As a country we are now committed to this system. It needs to be properly resourced and there is simply no way round this.

ENDS

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