National plans big cuts to secondary school budgets

Press Release – PPTA

Buried in the vague wording of National Party education policy is what looks like further cuts to secondary school staffing and funding, says PPTA senior vice president Kate Gainsford. Media Release

National plans big cuts to secondary school budgets

23 November, 2011 Buried in the vague wording of National Party education policy is what looks like further cuts to secondary school staffing and funding, says PPTA senior vice president Kate Gainsford.

“A mysterious phrase in the policy that claims national wants more flexibility to fund students on a per pupil basis seems to be a reference to the policy of bulk-funded vouchers, which was resoundingly rejected in the 1990s,” she said.

Gainsford believed it would mean low-decile secondary schools, which have already had $6 million a year ripped from their budgets, would be set to lose teaching positions as well.

“The policy would reduce the quality of education for all secondary students in order to fund a few over-hyped youth guarantee places,” she said.

PPTA wants the Government to come clean on the extent of these cuts before the election.

“Sliding out vaguely-worded policy at the 11th hour smacks of an attempt to prevent democratic scrutiny. What is the intent of the policy? Is it to run down secondary schools to force parents to turn to private schools, or is it to wind down funding to state schools even further with the expectation that parents will stump up for the shortfall?” said Gainsford.

“It’s disappointing that the Minister hasn’t seen fit to consult with secondary school boards, principals or parents about a policy that will have enormous implications for the effective operation of schools. “

“What we know about successful overseas education systems is that they don’t exclude the people affected from decisions and they don’t set up funding traps for schools.”

“New Zealand politicians need to learn from successful countries how to bring people together for a common purpose rather than going for divisive short-term political hits.”

ENDS

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