ACT to level the playing field for independent schools
Announcement: ACT to level the playing field for independent schools
ACT’s policy on independent schools will save taxpayers money and protect the rights of all parents to choose the best school for their child, says ACT Leader David Seymour.
“Parents who choose independent schools are exercising a very basic right, and saving taxpayers a fortune in the process. Independent school students take $67,000 less funding than state school children over 13 years of education.
“Unfortunately, this choice is currently restricted to those who can afford it. State schools, even failing ones, get full Government funding while independently-run schools receive only a fraction of the funding, meaning they have to charge significant fees.
“Labour and National have both capped the pool of funding set aside for independent schools, instead of increasing it in line with the rest of the education budget. ACT says this is tall-poppy syndrome; it reflects a prejudice against private schooling based on old-fashioned class politics.
“The most exclusive schools have weathered this prejudice well because they were less reliant on government funding to start with. It's schools aimed at middle class Kiwis that are struggling most.
“ACT will scrap the funding cap for independent schooling and replace it with per-student funding, set at 50% of per-student funding in the state system. This would mean another $40 million for independent schools (nearly doubling the existing budget).
“Boosting independent school funding will help level the playing field with state schools. And the policy will ultimately save taxpayer money by preventing closures of independent schools (like we saw with Wanganui Collegiate), keeping these students out of the fully-funded state system.”