Public Funding For Public Schools
The Quality Public Education Coalition (QPEC) is appalled to hear of the decision to provide $11.7m in public funds to Green School in Taranaki, a private education-for-profit school. This move comes at a time when the Covid crisis has highlighted the huge inequity in the NZ education system arising from years of underfunding.
The decision has been announced by James Shaw as Associate Minister of Finance. Shaw is also Co-Leader of the Green Party, whose policy platform states, "Public funding for private schools should be phased out and transferred to public schools.” QPEC agrees with the policy, but not with this week's decision on the Taranaki school.
"Government could invest in green buildings in state schools in Taranaki and elsewhere," says former MP Dr Liz Gordon. "It should not fund projects that will generate profits for private companies."
The $11.7 million could be easily applied to countless “shovel ready” upgrades and rebuilds of the many substandard school buildings around Aotearoa NZ which have been delayed for many years as a result of the underfunding.
There is also a huge need for additional qualified staff to support vulnerable students, many of whom have experienced a lifetime of inequality and have been severely disadvantaged by the impact of Covid-19. This could immediately provide a vastly greater number of jobs across the country, many of whom would be women, the sector hardest hit by job losses.