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Choice lies in a quality state education system

14 April 2008

Real choice lies in a quality state education system

John Key is showing his true blue colours by promising to massively hike funding for private schools, Education Minister Chris Carter says.

In an interview on TVNZ’s Agenda programme, Mr Key said that $30 million was “the sort of range” National would increase funding to private schools by, close to double the $40.179 per annum they get now.

“NZEI, the country’s biggest education union, today rightly expressed strong concern over Mr Key’s statement that a big boost in funding for the private school sector would somehow increase choice for New Zealand families.

“That is a ridiculous claim, ordinary New Zealand families like the choices they have now and they don’t want to see money from their local school being siphoned off into private education.

“Families can send their children to a private school and that is their choice but real choice is about having a quality, world-leading education system that can be accessed by all New Zealand families.

“For Mr Key to try and spin this policy by saying if private schools don’t get an increase in their funding then that’s somehow ‘elitist’ really is laughable,” Chris Carter said.

While Mr Key was relatively clear on his party’s plans for private schools, his views on bulk funding were far from clear.

With comments such as “in the end its about where you set bulk funding” make it clear National is still considering this unpopular policy in some form, which will come as a relief to the party’s deputy education spokesman Allan Peachey who is a passionate believer in it.

“Dusting off a few old failed policies is the best National can do and shows how completely out of touch with the education sector the party and its leader really are,” Chris Carter said.

ENDS

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