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Underfunding is no excuse for legal action

Underfunding is no excuse for legal action

The underfunding of the education system is no excuse for schools to take parents to court to make up for what the Government should be paying, Green Education Spokesperson Metiria Turei says.

Tauranga’s Otumoetai College has served parent Ian Mason with notice that he has 30 days to pay $742.50 or face legal action. Mr Mason has reportedly refused to pay.

“While we all know state schools are underfunded they should not be taking legal action against parents to get the extra money from them.

“If schools are in dire financial straits then they should be lobbying Government for more funding - not punishing parents by passing the burden on to them.

“New Zealand parents already contribute about 10 percent of the cost of their child’s so-called ‘free’ state education.”

The School Trustees Association has called on Government to increase schools’ operations grant funding and The Green Party supports this, she said.

According to the Education Act 1989 every New Zealand child is entitled to free enrolment and free education at any state school from the time they are five years old till the end of the year in which they turn 19.

“It is time for the Government to reassess how much it is putting into education to ensure that it really is free.”

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