Concern Over National’s Funding Pledge For Private Schools
The country’s largest education union says taxpayers should be concerned by National’s pledge to almost double the amount of funding to private schools.
National Party leader John Key has signalled that under a National government, funding for private schools would increase from $40 million dollars a year to about $70 million.
NZEI Te Riu Roa says significantly boosting funding to the private education sector does not make sense while the public system is crying out for more money and resources.
NZEI President Frances Nelson says the taxpayer expects public schools to deliver the quality education children deserve, but that expectation can be undermined by the constant juggling act that cash-strapped schools face.
NZEI is awaiting the results of the government’s review of the School Operations Grant. Along with the rest of the public education sector, NZEI anticipates the review, which has now been completed, will deliver significant extra funding to the public education sector in the May Budget.
Amongst other things, an increase in the Operations Grant would help fund salaries for support staff, teacher aides, and IT specialists which schools currently have to pay for out of their own pockets.
“Any money given to private schools will be lost to the public sector; the taxpayer and the children of New Zealand deserve better,” she says.
Whilst NZEI recognises the right of parents to choose private schooling as an option for their children, until public schools are funded adequately, there should be no extra money handed over to the private sector.