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Put your money where your mouth is, Mallard

Put your money where your mouth is, Mallard

Trevor Mallard should put his money where his mouth is over the half billion dollar shortfall in school funding, says National's Education spokesman, Bill English.

Mr English says the Education Minister should forget his contradictory calculations, drop the spin and face facts - parents and schools raised just under half a billion dollars for schools last year.

"That equates to $1 in every $3 that the Minister provides for operations funding," he says.

The School Sector Report shows that between 1999 and 2003 the amount of funds raised locally increased by more than 50%, from $301 to $452 per pupil. It also shows that local funds make up a growing percentage of total school revenue, reaching an average of 10% in primary schools last year.

Between 1999 and 2003, school donations increased by a staggering 97%, and fundraising by 41%. Parental contributions increased by almost $20 million between 2002 and 2003 alone.

Mr English says the Minister is already feeling the pressure of a nationwide campaign by the School Trustees Association for an increase in funding in the 2005 Budget.

"The feedback I have had from parents is that they are sick and tired of selling raffle tickets to pay teachers' salaries when the Government is sitting on a record wad of cash," he says

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