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Government Sending Mixed Message to Parents

3 September 2008

Government Sending Mixed Message to Parents on School 'Donations'

Family First NZ says that the government is sending mixed messages to parents regarding school donations.

"Parents are being pressured by schools to pay the so-called donations but at the same time the Government is telling parents that they should not be coerced to pay," says Bob McCoskrie, National Director of Family First NZ.

In January, the Minister of Education Chris Carter said that coercing parents to pay donations was illegal and "I would not tolerate any NZ school breaking the law. I would certainly intervene if parents approached me and I would urge them to do so."

"The government can't have it both ways," says Mr McCoskrie. "Education is either free (as per the Education Act) and the government funds it accordingly, or it admits that education is not free, amend the Act, and make the fee compulsory."

"Parents are simply receiving mixed messages and are taking the cheaper option - not paying the fee!"

"But schools and the students are the ultimate losers because core programmes and support staff are being sacrificed as a result of the reduced funding."

"It's time the government supported the funding needs of schools, and was straight with parents regarding the real expense of education," says Mr McCoskrie.


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