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Claims by Rich absurd, Minister says

Hon Chris Carter
Minister of Education

17 January 2008 Media Statement
Claims by Rich absurd, Minister says

Education Minister Chris Carter has today stood by his comments to the Education Review that school donations are indeed voluntary.

Chris Carter has described Rich’s attacks as blatant National Party spin.

“The government continues to increase funding to schools, from $3.8b in 2000 to $5.6b in 2007. Schools fundraise for their own reasons and they are free to do so, but the government funding is sufficient to cover core services, Mr Carter said.

“Typically schools fundraise for the ‘extras’ like camps and sports trips. Non-government funds provide only 10 percent of the average state schools’ total revenue. To claim, as Ms Rich does, that schools would collapse without parental donations is absurd and she knows it, Chris Carter says.

“If any parent has concerns about the level of donation they are asked to make, I would advise them to approach a member of the Board of Trustees or the Principal, the Minister said.

The Minister also pointed out that Rich’s assertion that schools would collapse if they go into deficit was completely untrue.

“Schools routinely go into and out of deficit. It’s not unusual, for instance, for a school looking to build a new hall or other major project, to go into deficit for one year to pay the large outlay required. They then go back into the black next year. This is just good financial management, not a sign of a problem,” Chris Carter says.


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