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Unfair funding punishes 500 schools

Nick Smith National Education Spokesperson

17 August 2000

Unfair funding punishes 500 schools

National's Education spokesman Nick Smith says that the 500 schools disadvantaged by today's funding announcement have every reason to feel aggrieved.

"500 schools are to have their funding cut and the education of 100,000 pupils compromised. Parents and teachers in these communities will today be angry with the Government for reducing their funding for no good reason.

"This decision also takes control away from principals and parents and gives it back to Wellington bureaucrats. It is a huge step backwards for education. The average school with $500,000 of teacher salaries grant will lose their say in how that money is spent. The Minister is only offering crumbs of flexibility in return, with the average school having a say over just $30,000. This is a poor substitute.

"The Minister has created huge inequities in the funding for schools across New Zealand. We will now have identical schools with the same roll and same decile rating receiving quite different levels of funding because of staff seniority.

"Schools in areas like Northland, East Coast, Bay of Plenty and West Coast will find themselves short-changed by millions of dollars.

"National will be doing a full analysis of the impact on all schools to expose the inequity of the new funding formula when the Ministry releases the figures.

"This decision has nothing to do with fairness or children. It is all about payback to the teacher unions, who fear and oppose parent decision making in education," Dr Smith said.

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