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Mallard tries to duck another one

Hon Bill English National Party Education Spokesman

16 June 2005

Mallard tries to duck another one

National's Education spokesman, Bill English, says Trevor Mallard is trying to hose down another education bush fire by extending the consultation time for a controversial change to bus routes at 250 schools.

The Education Minister has released a document outlining plans to ensure no school can use its own buses to pick up students who live closer to another school, or who live within 3.2 kilometres of their own schools.

Mr Mallard announced last night that the consultation time has been extended until after the election.

"Schools and parents are shocked at the change in policy," says Mr English.

"No one had asked for it to be changed and there were no problems. Some schools have used the flexibility of running their own buses to give parents more choice about what school their child goes to, and to pick up children where they cannot safely walk or bike to school.

"Education Ministry officials have told schools that the policy is final and they can only discuss how to implement it. So no one is fooled by this cynical delay in consultation deadline.

"Labour will no doubt wreck bus runs at 250 schools, given the chance.

"National will leave the current policy in place with no change. It gives parents choice about what school their child goes to and gives schools the power to plan their own bus runs," says Mr English.


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