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Labour makes dog's breakfast of school funding

MEDIA RELEASE 14 JULY 1999

Education Minister Nick Smith said today that Labour's position on bulk funding of schools has become even more confused with Trevor Mallard's announcement today.

"Labour is attempting to have its cake and eat it too. Labour's policy on school resourcing has become a dog's breakfast where schools will have no clear idea of their funding. Labour should clearly state, as National has, its detailed funding formula and end the confusion."

Mr Mallard has pledged to scrap bulk funding and says Labour will put an additional $106 million into schools, via the base, operation and TFEA (Targeted Funding for Educational Achievement) grants, but has also stated that schools that have chosen bulk funding will get none of this. But, bulk funded schools also get operations grants and TFEA funding. These contradictory commitments give schools absolutely no certainty about their funding and could see schools of the same decile and size receiving different levels of funding.

"This policy raises more questions than it answers. They are either proposing bulk funding by stealth or a funding system that is so confused and unfair that nobody will understand their entitlement."

"The irony is that Labour and Trevor Mallard voted for the legislation introducing bulk funded salaries. Their policy sop to the teacher unions to scrap bulk funding is proving an electoral liability and they are now trying to climb out of the hole they have dug for themselves." ENDS

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