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Free Education now a myth

Alliance Party media release FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE Monday 18 December 2006

Free Education now a myth

Alliance education spokesperson Richard Wallis says New Zealand’s free education system is now nothing more than a long lost myth.

He says some state schools are charging fees of more than $700 a year and the Government now only provides 88.9% of schools total revenue.

"Successive Labour and National led governments have been underfunding education, forcing schools to turn to parents, teachers and the local community to make up the shortfall."

Mr Wallis says this may work for wealthy parents, but was a major strain on many families.

“What about the majority of New Zealanders who struggle to put aside money to pay the bills, let alone inject funds into a local school that is supposed to be fully funded by the Government?” The Alliance would commit funding and resources to ensure the full funding of the public education system from early childhood to tertiary level, through a progressive tax system.

This would be the first step towards the abolition of school fees in all forms and guises, said Mr Wallis.

“If the Labour Government is not willing to make this basic commitment and investment in the children and future of New Zealand, then voters must return the Alliance to Parliament to ensure that our education system receives the funding our children deserve."


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