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Ogilvy: School Deficits Double In Eight Years

Media Statement
For immediate release
Monday, 23 August, 2004

Ogilvy: School deficits double in eight years

The deficits carried by New Zealand schools have doubled from $14 million to $29 million in the past eight years, United Future education spokesman Bernie Ogilvy said today.

"And this is not a low-decile, socio-economic split. It goes right across the board," Mr Ogilvy said, citing Education Ministry figures he through Parliamentary questions.

Primary schools (with their collective deficits up from $4.3 million in 1995 to $14.5 million last year), and secondary schools (up from $8.3 million to $11.5 million) are the most heavily burdened, he said.

However, despite having a lower total collective deficit, secondary schools were generally worse off than primary schools.

"There are much fewer secondary schools which means that they tend to run much higher deficits.

"Whereas the average primary school deficit has increased from $11,124 in 1995 to $19,741 last year, the average deficit incurred by secondary schools rose from $55,624 to $94,631," Mr Ogilvy said.

The number of secondary schools with deficits over $100,000 doubled from 21 to 42 in that eight-year period, he said.

Intermediate school deficits rose from $1 million in 1995 to $1.8 million last year, while the deficits of composite schools rose from $359,000 to $1.1 million.

"Clearly, funding continues to be a huge problem, particularly for secondary schools where the demand for additional facilities is higher.

"The costs of computers, support staff and administration associated with NCEA are taking their toll. One shudders to think where some of these schools would be without fee-paying foreign students and the ever steeper 'voluntary' donations squeezed out of parents," he said. Ends.

ENDS

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