Private education a choice taxpayers should not be funding
If parents choose to enrol their children in private schools, taxpayers should not be asked to foot the bill, New Zealand Secondary Principals’ Council chairman Arthur Graves says.
Mr Graves is concerned about National Leader John Key’s recent statements that the party would seriously look at increasing funding for independent schools from $40 million a year to $70 million.
Virtually doubling the money available to private schools would be the first time their taxpayer funding had increased since it was capped by Labour in 1999.
“People have the right to choose whether to enrol their child in a private school, but once they have made that choice it is their responsibility to pay for it.
“Taxpayer money goes towards funding state education for the benefit of the whole country. If people choose to opt out of that system, why should all New Zealanders have to pay?,” he said.
Mr Graves said more money need to be put into state sector education, something the National Party has admitted itself.
“National has been quite public about the need for more funding for state schools, so why should they be spending much needed money in the private sector?”,” he said.
Mr Graves believed the situation in Australia under John Howard where private schools were funded over state schools is an example of the folly of National’s plans.
“It was a disaster in Australia. You only need to look at the quality of the schools and their resources to see that. It’s a deliberate attempt to undermine and rob public schools and essentially provide a tax break for the rich. It takes the resources away from the schools that need them,” he said.