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Education a target for Nats’ cost-cutting agenda

Hon Chris Carter
Minister of Education

27 May 2008 Media Statement

Education a target for Nats’ cost-cutting agenda

The National Party continues to play fast and loose with statistics in an attempt to build a case for tax cuts at the expense of core state services, Education Minister Chris Carter says.

In a speech at the weekend, National leader John Key claimed that since 2000, the number of people employed in “education bureaucracies” had risen at a rate of three times that of teachers.

“This is completely wrong,” Chris Carter said.

“Teacher numbers have increased by 6024 above natural roll growth since 1999, more than double the number of staff employed in the entire Ministry of Education.”

Instead of bandying around unsubstantiated figures and misleading percentages, Mr Key should decide just which of the following “bureaucrats”, announced in this year’s Budget, he would like to axe:

• 10 new staff hired for regional offices to track truants and get them back to school
• 21 specialists to give advice to the Ministry of Education’s Special Education services for the universal newborn hearing screening programme
• 15 extra specialist staff to support blind and vision impaired students in schools
• 33 extra staff to moderate NCEA results to increase quality of internal assessment and raising the amount of student work that is moderated from 3 percent a year to 10 percent

“Mr Key needs to explain to New Zealanders just what education services he wants to axe to meet his tax cut programme,” Chris Carter said.


ENDS

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