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Additional Funds For Rural Schools Please Greens

Greens Pleased With Additional Funds For Rural Schools

Green Party Education spokesperson Ian Ewen-Street said today's announcement of an extra $8.6 million for small and rural schools increased Green Party support of the abolition of bulk funding.

Mr Ewen-Street said the Greens were pleased with the Government's initiative to fund more staff in small and rural schools and said the move would offset concerns by some rural schools that they would lose out through the abolition of bulk funding.

"The Greens appreciate that some small schools are concerned that the abolition of bulk funding would leave them worse off," said Mr Ewen-Street. "This move is an acknowledgment that some of these schools do need extra resources and provides the extra resourcing as of right."

Mr Ewen-Street said it was unfair of the National Government to have given funding 'sweeteners' to schools which opted for bulk funding and the move to abolish bulk funding would make funding fairer and more consistent across all schools.

"The extra 160 full-time teacher equivalents is good news for small schools and the Greens congratulate the Education Minister for recognising the problems in this sector and moving to fix them. This is a much more responsible way of dealing with the issue than effectively bribing schools into taking an ideological position with short-term handouts," he said.

"The Green Party support the abolition of the National Party's system of bulk funding but recognise that this funding system has also offered some schools benefits in terms of flexibility. We have told the Government we wish to see these benefits of bulk funding retained.

"We have indicated to the Government that we wish to be involved in the further issues regarding the funding of schools," said Mr Ewen-Street.

Ends

Ian Ewen-Street MP: 04 470 6726, 025 902 527 Jonathan Hill (press secretary): 021 110 1133


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