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Families Urged To Take TIE Opportunity

ACT Whangarei based MP and Associate Education Spokesman Dr Muriel Newman is urging Northland families to take the opportunity to apply for the Targeted Individual Entitlement Scheme that gives parents earning less than $25,000 a year the choice of sending their child to an independent school.

"Northland families have just one more week to apply for a TIE scheme place for the year 2,000.

"Each year up to 160 places (80 in primary and 80 in secondary) are made available in Independent Schools for students who meet the criteria. Under the scheme the Ministry of Education pays most of the school fees. Participating schools usually make up any shortfall between what they would normally charge in fees and the Ministry funding.

"Families also get an annual allowance paid directly to families to help meet uniform, travel and other incidental costs.

"The applications for next year close on August 6. Application forms are available from the Ministry of Education.

"For Northland families in areas where their school is not performing, this is an invaluable opportunity to give their child the education they deserve. The scheme allows them to apply to send their child to any of the independent schools around the country that are participating in the TIE scheme, including the Springbank school in KeriKeri.

"One of the most successful initiatives both here and in the United States for lifting the educational performance of children from ethnic minorities and children from lower socio-economic backgrounds are schemes like the TIE scheme. These schemes allow parents to choose the school that best meets the needs of their child, and the government passes their share of the education tax dollar on to that school.

"Although I am pleased that additional TIE funding for Maori children was announced in this year's budget, I believe that every child in New Zealand should have the same opportunity to attend the school that best meets their needs. In fact, the ACT party believes the TIE scheme should be available to all families, as a strategy to lift educational standards and ensure excellence in education for every child," said Muriel Newman.


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