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Nothing In Budget For Secondary Education

Trevor Mallard has pre-released Budget education announcements so that teachers and principals make less fuss closer to an election when they discover there's next-to-nothing for them, ACT Education Spokesman MP Donna Awatere Huata said today.

"Mr Mallard today told secondary principals what they'll get from the Labour Government:

· Secondary teachers can decide to lease a laptop computer from the Government for three years. Cost: $25 million

· The Primary Literacy Leadership Programme will be extended to secondary schools. Cost: less than $1 million

· Selected schools will take part in Literacy Development programmes. Cost: less than $3 million

"Mr Mallard's conceit knows no bounds if he now believes he can buy off educators with less than $29 million.

"The offer to lease laptop computers to teachers is unjust and deceitful. Mr Mallard is intending to take money off teachers so they can do their jobs.

"Teachers are overwhelmed with paperwork. The Minister doesn't want to reduce the load, he just wants teachers to get through the paperwork faster, hence the computers.

"Teachers will have to cough up at least a third of the cost themselves. On top of their student loan repayments, Mr Mallard now wants teachers to pay to do the paperwork he sets them. Does he still wonder why they are upset?

"Literacy programmes are welcome, but first-wave strategies are far better than intervention that comes too late. And wasting time trying to find out "what works" is ridiculous - how many times have successive Governments done this?

"Mr Mallard has shown today that this year's Budget again has no good news for teachers, principals or educators. ACT's policy of devolved funding offers educators the opportunity to innovate, and recognises that teachers - rather than politicians - have the best ideas for our kids," Mrs Awatere Huata said.


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