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National Backs Private Schools, But Not Babies

Education Spokesperson


National Backs Private Schools, But Not Babies

Propping up Wanganui Collegiate to the tune of $800,000 while slapping down a Bill that supports babies getting a good start in life is more than a double standard, Labour’s Education spokesperson Nanaia Mahuta says.

"The Government is sending a signal to private schools that it's okay to run at a deficit because they will pick up the shortfall.

“At the same time it is sending a message to parents that it is too costly to have them at home looking after their babies for the first six months of life,” Nanaia Mahuta said.

“Public schools have come under immense pressure to manage the books and to be ‘accountable’ to the taxpayer over the last four years.

‘A quality public education system should be the first priority for the Government, not shifting more public money to private schools, who already get around $44.5 million (excluding GST) a year from the taxpayer.

"Last year $2.5 million was transferred to private schools in error, yet they were not required to pay any of that back.

"On the back of PPPs and Charter schools it's clear that the Government’s priorities are to shift more of the public purse towards private enterprise.

"Nationals model of education will lead to a tiered system where there will be winners and losers - 'good’ and ‘bad' schools and 'good’ and ‘bad' teachers.

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“Sadly the result of that is likely to be a greater divide between 'the haves and have nots’.

"Independent schools are obviously facing real challenges around their viability, but the first response should not be to go to the Government for a quick cash injection, but rather look to their donor base.

"Labour believes that a quality public education system requires the type of leadership that will continue to seek greater outcomes from our public schools, where all children get the very best opportunity to lead a productive life,” Nanaia Mahuta said.


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