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Bulk funding: PPTA should be ashamed

Hon Bill English - National Party Education Spokesman

16 May 2005

Bulk funding: PPTA should be ashamed

National's Education spokesman, Bill English, says the PPTA's arguments against bulk funding are absolute nonsense and the union should be ashamed of itself for blatantly misleading its members.

In the latest edition of PPTA News, PPTA President Debbie Te Whaiti outlines the union's arguments against bulk funding. The union says the reintroduction of bulk funding would see parents pay more school fees, force schools into high-risk ventures (like the recruitment of international students) and force them to hire 'cheaper' teachers.

Mr English says if this is all the PPTA can come up with then the argument is already over.

"Since the abolition of bulk funding, parental fees and contributions have increased by 35% to over $200 million annually.

"Claims that schools will be forced into recruiting more foreign fee-paying students are also rubbish. Since bulk funding was abolished, the number of international students has increased from 5,000 to 17,500, generating an extra $85 million annually.

"If the PPTA is worried about foreign students, it should be attacking Labour's school funding policies.

"The union's third ridiculous claim that schools will have to hire 'cheap' teachers - presumably new graduates - doesn't stand up either. More than 3,000 'cheap' teachers are already employed in our school system and the PPTA hasn't made a peep about them.

"If the PPTA has a problem with new teachers it should come out and say so. Hiding behind the bulk funding argument is nonsense.

"The facts and realities of the past five years directly and embarrassingly contradict the PPTA's arguments. The union should stop misleading its members and start thinking about our children," says Mr English.

ENDS


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