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Heartless Shameless Guilt Free Education Minister

Heartless, Shameless, Guilt Free, Education Minister

ACT New Zealand Education Spokesman Deborah Coddington today challenged Education Minister Trevor Mallard to personally pay a visit to the schools he's picked to axe and explain to the teachers, parents and pupils why they're being persecuted.

"Go out to Upper Hutt's Mangaroa Primary School as I did yesterday and tell this community you're not closing their beautiful school to save money," Miss Coddington said.

"The school roll of Mangaroa is climbing from 113 to 120 so it can't be because of surplus classrooms.

"The parents and Board of Trustees are totally committed to Mangaroa School so it can't be because the school has requested a change.

"Fundraising is healthy - scarily so - so it can't be resources not being fully utilised.

"The ERO doesn't have a problem with Mangaroa School so it can't be education standards.

"So that just leaves one reason for closing Mangaroa School and sending the children eight kilometres away to Plateau School - the Minister wants to suck money out of this area and spend it somewhere else.

"In his own words he needs 'millions of dollars' to resolve the G3 problem of secondary teachers' salaries, a problem created by the Minister when he bowed to union pressure for pay parity.

"He also needs millions of dollars in places like Auckland for new schools.

"The Minister must come clean and admit he's closing 300 New Zealand provincial schools - good schools supported by parents - to redistribute funding elsewhere.

"It would be criminal to close Mangaroa School - a model of good, decentralised, education chosen and supported by parents. The Labour Party should be ashamed of this Education Minister.

"Who would have thought Labour would be closing schools all over New Zealand? Its 'greatest prime minister' and former education minister Peter Fraser, who campaigned on 'education for all', would turn in his grave if he could see Trevor Mallard trampling on his dreams," Miss Coddington said.

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