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Parents Picking Up The Tab For Struggling Schools

Labour Leader

10 September 2012 Media Statement

Parents Picking Up The Tab For Struggling Schools

Parents are being forced to pay more and more in school donations because Government funding is not keeping pace with ever-rising costs, says the Labour Leader David Shearer.

Official data supplied to Labour shows that hundreds of schools hiked their “voluntary” donations by more than 30 per cent between 2008 and 2010.

Parents with children in schools in middle deciles 4 to 7 were particularly hard hit, with donations increasing on average between 38 and 56 per cent. All up almost $30-million in donations was collected at these schools in 2010, up from just over 20-million two years earlier.

“Some schools have doubled the size of donation they expect for each student. Just how deep does the Education Minister Hekia Parata think parents’ pockets are?

“What is more, the number of schools that are in deficit increased by more than 10 per cent over the same time (from 1,035 in 2008 to 1,163 in 2010)[i]. That’s a sign our school system is really struggling.

“It’s true that the Government has increased education funding. But with costs rising all the time, and increasing demands for our schools to do more, parents have been left fill the gap in school budgets.

“The Government is meant to fund schools to provide a free education for all. It found an extra $35 million to make private schools more affordable, but what about our public schools? Sadly many state schools can’t live on the rations John Key and Bill English are prepared to throw their way.

“Labour sees education as a priority and an investment in our future, not just a cost, like National. Our kids and parents deserve a school system that doesn’t rely on donations and cake stalls to keep schools from slipping into the red,” says David Shearer.

(Source – answer to Written Parliamentary Question 5173)


[i] Deficit data from answer to Written Parliamentary Question 5705


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