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Bill English has a Short Memory on Decile Funding

Press Release 30 January 2002
For immediate release

Suggestions by Bill English that his party may abandon the decile funding system only demonstrate that National is determined to repeat the mistakes of the past, says Liz Gordon, Chairperson of the Education and Science Select Committee.

She is also concerned that National is announcing new policy before parents and teachers have had the chance to finalise their submissions to a select committee inquiry into decile funding.

"Before the decile system was introduced the large additional costs faced by schools in poor areas could not be met. It was the crisis caused by these funding disasters that lead to the introduction of decile funding by a National Government," said Liz Gordon who is also the Alliance education spokesperson.

"National pressed the Select Committee for a review of decile funding and the committee agreed that there were a number of issues worth considering, such as the question whether the current funding of large urban decile one schools is adequate," said Dr Gordon.

Submissions to the inquiry close on the 14th of February.

"National is already making decisions before those involved in education have had their submissions heard. One can only conclude that they have little regard for the views of parents and teachers.

"There is evidence from the National Education Monitoring Project that indicates that literacy achievements fell in the early part of the 1990s. This is very likely to be due to inadequate funding during this period. National introduced the decile funding system in 1995 after a series of school funding disasters.

"Now National leader Bill English says that poor schools get too much money and suggests that the decile funding system should be abandoned. They appear to be determined to repeat the mistakes of the past.

"There is every chance that 'lateral' thinking will be a code word for vouchers.

"I wonder what previous National education ministers Wyatt Creech and Lockwood Smith think of their leader's latest musings?", said Dr Gordon.

ends

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