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Bulk funding money given to schools in cash

Labour
2000 web siteExtra funding allocated to schools under a Labour Government would be a cash grants, not extra staffing, Labour education spokesperson Trevor Mallard said today.

Trevor Mallard spoke to secondary school principals at the PPTA Principals' conference in Christchurch today.

"We propose to continue the allocation of the money which was earmarked for bulk funding. That resource will be kept for schools within Vote: Education and be distributed on a fair basis," Trevor Mallard said.

"It's worth noting that a few weeks ago over $60 million allocated in the previous budget was handed back by the Minister to the Treasurer.

"It is Labour's view that the entire $106 million which has previously been allocated and which would have to be spent if all schools chose bulk funding should be used in schools. That is an average of an extra $145 per pupil which I propose to add through a mixture of increases to base, operation and TFEA grants.

"Because most schools are not currently bulk funded they will clearly be better off. Whether currently bulk funded are better off will depend on the details of the formula. Clearly smaller, lower decile schools, and those with more experienced staff are more likely to receive additional funding.

"I have rejected the view put forward by teacher unions and others which would require additional funding to be tied to staffing. Our proposal is to have that resource paid to schools for use at their discretion. It will not be tied to particular staffing requirements. There will continue to be central staffing formulae which will be minimum requirements. This extra resource will enable schools to be innovative above the minimum levels.

Trevor Mallard said that it was the role of the Board of Trustees, advised by principals, to allocated on the use of the funding and that it would probably be used for a mixture of staffing, support staffing, technology and building improvements.

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