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Mallard Misleads on Bulk Funding

ACT Spokesman Donna Awatere Huata today said that Education Minister Trevor Mallard’s claim that the $15.1 million that he is distributing to centrally funded schools would have gone to Treasury is dishonest nonsense.

“That $15.1 million is the money that was designated to go to newly bulk funded schools. Those schools were put off bulk funding after Trevor Mallard hung a wrecking ball over their heads saying if he became Minister bulk funding would be abolished. Those schools then chose not to take up the bulk funding option because of the uncertainty he created.

“Mr Mallard is following Steve Maharey’s example of simply being downright dishonest when he hasn’t got the facts to justify his demolition job. That $15.1 million was already allocated in the education budget and would have remained in the education budget. To say that Treasury would somehow have got their hands on it is just rubbish.

“The one-off payments to schools who did not take up the bulk funding option is a divisive and selfish move on the part of the Minister simply to sweeten up the abolition of bulk funding. It is an insult to the schools who took up bulk funding and have shown how excellence and innovation can be achieved when communities are free to determine what’s best for their children.

“The irony is that the Education Review Office’s statistics comparing centrally funded with bulk funded schools show that bulk funded schools showed a 22% increase in the number of schools that performed well.

“I am deeply saddened by the comments of Auckland Principal Phil Raffles today who articulates the tragedy of Trevor Mallard’s determination to axe bulk funding. Phil’s concerns reflect those of bulk funded principals up and down the country. He points out that at his own school, Avondale College, bulk funding has seen them employ more teachers and teacher aides than ever before as well as purchase 300 computers.

“I totally agree with Phil Raffles that the abolition of bulk funding will set the state education system back 10 years,” said Donna Awatere Huata.

ENDS

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