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Budget fails to recognise top teachers



20 May 2005

Budget fails to recognise top teachers

“Dr Cullen’s education budget does nothing to ensure good teachers are rewarded for their excellent work as claimed. We need to acknowledge that local schools and communities can be trusted to pay teachers themselves,” says Maxim Institute’s Policy Manager Nicki Taylor.

Until the current situation, where the government bases teacher salaries on the Ministry and the PPTA ‘knowing best’, is changed—great teachers will stay unrewarded.

“Dr Cullen’s talk of ‘professional development’ for teachers is meaningless. Teachers are not treated as professionals under the current system. Great teachers are not getting the recognition they deserve, in their pay structure or their working conditions,” says Nicki Taylor.

Principals and school boards are the best to determine teacher salaries, not the Ministry of Education or the PPTA.

“In addition, Dr Cullen has promised to spend an additional $19.5 million on schools, but $24 million on the Ministry of Education. New Zealand already spends more money than any country in the OECD on education—yet there is little to show for it. We still have an unacceptably large tail end of low achievers,” says Nicki Taylor.

The solution to the challenges we face in education is not more government spending, but a change in how it is spent, and who is spending it.

“The focus of education spending must be on getting our children to learn and on rewarding top teachers who make them learn,” says Nicki Taylor.


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