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Alliance Party says don't chase parents for fees

Alliance Party

Media Release

For Immediate Release

Alliance Party says don't chase parents for fees

The Alliance Party is appalled that parents are still being chased by schools for late fee payments.

The party believes it is offensive and wrong that under-funded state schools have to pressure parents to pay "voluntary" donations when the government continues to sit on a large financial surplus, Alliance Education spokesperson Richard Wallis believes.

"If Education Minister Chris Carter was as appalled with the situation as he says he is, then surely he would do something about the causes and not the symptoms - and the cause is under-funding," he stated.

Mr Wallis says school fees might be affordable in prosperous areas, but in many communities where low pay, surging living costs and food banks are still a reality, school fees are simply out of the question. Just because they can afford them doesn't mean they should be forced to pay school fees, he says.

He says the situation is just further evidence of the decay of what was once a world-leading free, universal education system.

"If New Zealand is to have a free education system, funded by the community, then the Government must be prepared to invest heavily. However, there is every indication that the problem would get even worse under a National Government that is opposed, in principle, to public services."

Mr Wallis says the progressive taxation system proposed by the Alliance, and its spending priorities, would be aimed at a completely free education system funded by the community, with maximum class sizes of 20.

ENDS

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