8 October 2008
PPTA fears for future of education under National
PPTA president Robin Duff says National needs to fully release its education policy before dangling tax cuts in front of voters.
“We are 30 days out from the election and there have been no significant policy statements. It’s an outrageous position to be announcing tax cuts from,” Mr Duff said.
“The only policies we have seen in education are privatisation ones. Thirty million dollars to private schools, countless millions to the private sector for PPPs (Public Private Partnerships) and vouchers in the senior secondary school”.
Given the uncertain global financial situation, Mr Duff fears for the future of the sector.
“The last time National offered tax cuts without increasing government spending was in the 1990s. They achieved this by cutting 300 secondary teachers from schools, driving up class sizes and introducing the infamous ‘mother of all budgets’ – which screwed money out of education, health and social services in order to fund tax cuts.
“Our priorities are an increase in schools’ operations grants, smaller classes and more secondary teachers. We will be very interested to see how National intends to provide this.
“There is nothing in their policy so far saying where they are going to get the money from. Basically we just don’t know what they are doing.
What we urgently need is some transparency,” he said.