16 May 2013
Budget strips millions from schools to pay for pet projects - PPTA
Millions of dollars have been stripped from the compulsory education sector to pay for ministers’ pet projects, PPTA president Angela Roberts says.
Secondary education will take the biggest hit with a $57.5 million cut, while John Banks’ experimental charter schools will cream $19 million from the taxpayer.
“That’s $19 million stolen from public school students - a heavy price to pay for a coalition agreement and policy the overwhelming majority of New Zealanders do not support,” she said.
“Instead the government should have listened to New Zealand parents and used the slight drop in secondary rolls as an opportunity to reduce class sizes.”
Not all of the projects given extra funding were as dangerous as Banks’ pet however, Roberts said.
“Some - such as the Positive Behaviour for Learning (PB4L) project - are very well-intentioned, but there is no way they should be funded by stripping money from state education.”
Despite the minister’s crowing, the overall Vote Education Budget only increased by 1.05%. Given Treasury forecasts for inflation range between 2.0% and 2.5% annually for 2013 to 2016, this was deeply disappointing, Roberts said.