Hundreds sign petition on first day of roadshow
10 October, 2016
Hundreds of parents concerned about proposed changes to how education is funded signed postcards to the Minister of Education on the first day of a roadshow hosted by NZEI TE Riu and PPTA.
At the simultaneous launch in Wellington, Christchurch and Auckland “Better Funding” buses visited schools at drop-off time this morning and parents talked to teachers about the proposed changes, including the global budget, and why children’s education needs more investment.
At the launch in Wellington, Karori West School principal Janice Shramka said schools needed more money not bulk funding.
“There is just not enough money. I know what happened last time under bulk funding – class sizes increased and there were more teachers on fixed-term contracts.”
PPTA president Angela Roberts said the nationwide campaign would engage and inform communities of the threats to education, including the proposed global budget and the increased privatisation of online learning through Communities of Online Learning (COOLs.)
“Children are not commodities that can be cashed up.”
Also at Karori West School were Green Party co leader James Shaw, NZ First Education spokesperson Tracey Martin and Wellington Central MP Grant Robertson who pledged their support for the campaign and for better funding in the sector.
At May Road School Mt Roskill, site of the Auckland launch, local principal and NZEI President elect Lynda Stuart said "schools need better funding than they currently get to ensure all student's specific learning needs are met."
The school’s Board of Trustees chair Fono Tigafua- Finau, spoke about the need for better funding and the concern around the global funding proposal.
More than 100 schools and early childhood centres nationwide will be visited by the Better Funding Better Learning roadshow.
Underfunding is biting into the sector and putting pressure on educators and children.
The Government’s freeze on the school operations grant, which funds support staff salaries and other general operating costs has been frozen this year. Recent analysis of the 2016 operations grant shows that a majority of schools will be worse off when inflation is taken into account.
Funding in Early Childhood Education has also been frozen for five years in real terms, with services now under huge financial pressure to cut qualified teachers and increase group sizes.
“Ensuring that our education system is funded in a way that delivers equitable outcomes is crucial to ensuring a quality public education system.”