National promises sinking lid education funding
Hon Chris Carter
Minister of Education
19 June 2008 Media Statement
National promises sinking lid education funding plan
Parents, schools and teachers will be aghast that after a week criticising the government for not investing enough in education, National finally revealed today it would introduce a sinking lid funding policy, says Education Minister Chris Carter.
Chris Carter said the revelation by National’s education spokesperson this morning at an Auckland principals’ breakfast meeting, “the one thing I can tell you is there will be no extra funding for education on top of the cost of living,” shows just how cynical her party has been in recent comments regarding schools’ operations funding.
Since 1999 the Labour-led government has increased the investment in education by 84% including lifting schools’ operations grants by more than 40%. New Zealand currently invests 4.7% of its GDP on compulsory schooling, way ahead of Australia (3.6%), the US (3.7%) and the UK (3.9%).
“National, by contrast, has finally admitted that it has no plans to invest in state education. Holding school budgets to the rate of inflation will not allow teachers to get fair pay increases or schools to invest in the latest computer technology or other teaching materials that assist students’ learning.
“This sinking lid funding policy reveals once and for all where National will cut spending to fund its extravagant tax cut promises. The majority of New Zealanders have repeatedly said in surveys that tax cuts must not come at the expense of health, education and other social services.
“What Anne Tolley didn’t tell Auckland principals this morning was that her leader John Key in April had already announced that he would double the funding for private schools.
“National and Labour could not be further apart on schools funding,” Chris Carter said.