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National should front up on school funding

21 May 2008

National should front up on school funding

National’s condemnation of today’s operational funding announcement clearly demonstrates the party has no commitment to properly resourcing schools, Education Minister Chris Carter said.

The Minister announced today schools would receive a 5 percent rise in their operations grants, or $171.6 million over four years, for their day-to-day running costs in Budget 2008.

“If the party’s spokeswoman Anne Tolley says providing extra money for schools for everything from library books to whiteboards is “throwing money” at the education system then I’m happy to plead guilty,” Chris Carter said.

“To say this money is election year politics is just plain silly when ops funding has risen every one of the past three years and increased more than 40 percent since Labour was elected.

“Ms Tolley is the one indulging in electioneering and her comments today won’t reassure schools one bit that National won’t cut their funding

“She should come out and say exactly what National’s funding plans are for schools and whether the party will keep ops funding at its current rate or scrap it altogether and revert to bulk funding, something her deputy spokesman is keen to see.”

The list of achievements in education under the Labour-led government is impressive:

- Increased overall education spending from $5.7 billion to $9.8 billion in 2006/07
- Around 79,000 children are benefiting from the highly successful 20 hours’ free early childhood education policy
- Provided funding for more than 5000 extra teachers over and above roll growth
- Provided funding for 14 new schools, 180 new classrooms, 10 new school gyms
- Increased mean teacher salaries by more than 30 percent


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