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Nothing new in Key’s latest education promise

2 November 2008 Media Statement

Nothing new in Key’s latest education promise

Labour's Education Spokesperson Chris Carter said today that National's Education policy continues to promote increases in spending on private schools.

John Key has given more details today on his earlier promise to increase government spending on private education, announcing an immediate injection of $10 million in 2009 for the private school sector," Chris Carter said.

“I am not surprised that Mr Key has acted immediately to boost private school funding after already displaying his preference for private schools. He recently told an audience at Homai College that if they worked hard, they could afford private education for their children, implying that he thought it was better,"

"A central plank of Labour’s massive investment in education of over $5.5 billion has been the school property portfolio. An enormous programme of property upgrades has seen 1500 extra classrooms built as well as the construction of 46 new schools since 1999.

"This followed nine years of decay and neglect under the previous National administration. Most schools in New Zealand have seen major property works take place under Labour.

"Helen Clark has already indicated that part of Labour’s plan for promoting and protecting jobs will be to bring forward school building projects if necessary. This would fast-track the process where schools have already been assessed for property upgrades and would help provide economic stimulus for local economies in a downturn.

“Today’s ‘me too’ announcement on school property from National will not convince an education sector which has been stunned by National’s commitment to standardised testing for primary school pupils, public-private partnerships in state schools and the removal of ‘free’ from the Twenty Hours Free early childhood entitlement for all three and four year olds.

"Over the next three years Labour has already budgeted to spend an extra $439 million on school property. The only thing new in Mr Key's policy is a firm commitment to boost tax-payer support for private education," said Chris Carter.


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