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Parata’s Budget Announcement Dodges Real Issues

Parata’s Budget Announcement Dodges Real Issues

Education Minister Hekia Parata still hasn’t explained how the government is going to fill the $114 million hole left in the education budget as a result of her backdown on bigger class sizes, Labour’s Education spokesperson Chris Hipkins says.

National has announced today that it will use $80.5 million of its operating funding to support parents and communities to lift educational achievement.

“While I’m sure additional support for students with behavioural needs will be welcomed by schools and communities, the reality is Hekia Parata is skirting round the real issues.

“This is money that’s being shuffled around-- it’s not a funding increase.

“Hekia Parata’s decision to close special residential schools was always going to mean National would have to put money into initiatives like the Incredible Years Parent and Teacher programmes.

“I applaud the commitment to mental health programmes for teenagers, but if Hekia Parata is really concerned about student engagement, she should re-think her decision to axe funding for Te Kotahitanga. It has a proven track record of lifting student achievement and stopping kids from dropping out.

“Ms Parata’s budget announcement today gives little insight into the actual state of the books – that’s a telling sign.

“Instead of tinkering round the edges her time would be better spent addressing the challenges our education system faces,” Chris Hipkins said.

ENDS

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