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Schools set to lose millions

Schools will start 2017 grappling with a $7.8 million funding cut, Labour’s Education spokesperson Chris Hipkins says.

“Hekia Parata has been adamant changes to the way our schools are funded would see them better off.

However, using the Ministry of Education’s own data – released this week – analysis shows the exact opposite.

“After adjusting for inflation, as Hekia Parata has done in the past, the figures reveal our schools are facing a $7.8 million cut.

 “That’s $7.8m schools will have to find elsewhere, either from parents or by cutting costs, and it comes at the same time the Government is considering reintroducing bulk funding across the board.

In previous years Hekia Parata has touted increases to schools’ operational funding as being above forecast inflation. Budget 2016 froze that funding and instead allocated money for 130,000 at-risk and disadvantaged students.

“Parents are already feeling the squeeze – there’s been a more than 30 per cent increase in parental contributions since National became the government – and bulk funding with only lead to larger class sizes and schools asking for more from parents.

“Hekia Parata is being less than honest. This is a cut. It doesn’t cover the increased costs to schools over the last year, let alone the next one,” Chis Hipkins says.