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National comes clean on Education policy – sort of

25 June 2008 Media Statement

National comes clean on Education policy – sort of

Another National MP has confirmed that the party plans to spend less on education than the government, says Education Minister Chris Carter.

National Party MP Wayne Mapp told a public meeting in Auckland on Friday that his party would spend no more money on education than Labour.

“National continues to mislead on its funding plans for schools – but its real plans to freeze school budgets are becoming clear.

“Last week National’s education spokesperson Anne Tolley told 200 Auckland Primary principals that National would provide no extra funding for schools on top of the cost of living. This is a remarkable turnaround from her pledge to North Shore Principals a month earlier that National would consider increasing operations grants by 20% .

“Wayne Mapp went further than Mrs Tolley at an Auckland public meeting last Friday for parents and teachers of Gifted Children saying increased funding for schools would only come from slashing staff at the Ministry of Education.

“Neither of these statements will be welcome news for schools, parents, the PPTA or the NZEI,” Chris Carter said.

“If implemented, holding funding increases to the rate of inflation would amount to a significant cut in funding for schools. Since 1999 the government has increased schools’ operational funding by more than 46 per cent since 1999, or 17.8% per cent after inflation.

“Since 1999 the government has invested a whopping $5 billion extra into education.

“Even if National slashed the total wage bill for all Ministry of Education staff not directly involved in frontline support for schools, early childhood centres and special needs pupils, it would still only add up to $21,900 per school. Not even enough to fund a single new teacher.

“National Party leader John Key has already made it clear that his priorities for education lie in lifting the cap on tax-payer support for private schools, privatising school property through public/private partnerships and slashing essential services to schools provided by the Ministry of Education,” Chris Carter said.


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