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Education race-based funding alive & well


Education race-based funding alive & well

Despite Trevor Mallard's announcement yesterday that the Maori weighting for decile funding will be abolished, there is still a plethora of race-based funding in education, ACT Education spokesman Deborah Coddington said today.

"The Education Ministry's Annual Report 2004 states in Appendix 1 that more than $500 million has been spent on 'reducing inequalities programmes by ethnic group and outcome'," Miss Coddington said.

"By ACT's calculations, about a quarter of a billion dollars of this funding - 42 percent - has been spent on Maori and Pacific Island students. These children make up just 28 percent of students across the entire education sector, tertiary included.

"Programmes include money spent on things like 'Maori parenting', 'Maori youth mentoring', 'scholarships and bursaries', 'Maori teacher supply', 'addressing workload issues for Maori teachers' and 'iwi education partnerships'.

"ACT acknowledges that Maori and Pacific children are grossly over-represented in the under-achievement stakes, but throwing money at projects like these just doesn't lift the literacy and numeracy levels of those students.

"The best education for Maori children - or any children who are failing - would be to let the funding follow the child, introduce a little competition so good teachers can be paid top salaries, and re-introduce national testing to ensure children pass one level before they are moved on to the next.

"Trevor Mallard has still got a long way to go when it comes to ending race-based funding - a promise the Labour Government made nearly 12 months ago," Miss Coddington said.

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