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Questions Over $60,000 School Taxi Bill

2 April 2002

A $60,000 bill for transporting pupils to Russell School in Porirua shows that decile funding is getting out of control, says National MP Murray McCully.

Today Mr McCully released papers he obtained from the school under the Official Information Act to demonstrate that 140 pupils use taxis to school, more than half of the school's total roll. Mr McCully says the $60,000 taxi bill, which is more than the school is spending on office staff, is clearly the result of decile funding. "How ever they might like to configure the budget, the fact is that decile funding provides the considerable additional resources to make the taxi scheme possible. Schools like Russell School receive about double the funding per pupil of so-called decile 10 schools, many of which are in middle-income areas. "These figures also raise the prospect that taxi rides could be used as part of a marketing war for pupils in an area which has more school capacity than pupils to fill them.

"On the surface, it appears that we have additional decile funding providing the resources to run the taxi scheme which the school needs to run to maintain its low decile pupil base, which in turn is the key to its higher funding," says Mr McCully.

Ends

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